Please follow this link for a full report – Warrington Guardian
The Parish Council can also confirm that our Chairman addressed the meeting, a copy of his statement can be found below.
The Chairman spoke in opposition, mainly on the grounds of inconvenience to local residents as a result of significant increased levels of traffic.
None of the external speakers were allowed to partake in the meeting or ask questions, with a maximum of seven minutes for previously submitted statements.
St Helens Planning Application
Reference number 271007
Address to Planning Committee, Tues 27th October 2020
Peter Watson, Chair of Great Sankey Parish Council, speaking on behalf of the Parish Council, to object to the approval of the planning application. Great Sankey Parish Council has already submitted two written objections to this application but wished to speak tonight as well because of the strength of feeling in the local community about the proposed development. Considerable concerns have been expressed to ourselves, by local residents in respect of the increased levels of traffic within the residential area created by the current and ongoing development on Omega and the subsequent inconvenience this has caused. In particular, these concerns have highlighted inappropriate use of local roads and parking by heavy goods vehicles. It is also a matter of record that the Parish Council have never previously objected to developments on Omega as we recognised the benefits it brought to the Warrington Area. We have sought to work with the local Council to address resident’s concerns. In respect of this application however, the Parish Council are of the view, the existing footprint of Omega South is such that development is at optimum level. Subsequently, we contend, that if approved, the increased traffic levels will be detrimental to local residents.
The Omega site, on its southern boundary, is juxtaposed by a large urban residential area. This is still expanding and many of the occupants are car owners who have been attracted to the area by the ease of a daily commute utilising the nearby motorway network. This proposed development which includes space for 383 HGV/trailer parking spaces and over 500 car parking spaces will, in the view of the Parish Council, significantly exacerbate existing traffic management issues.
It is also the case that plans for the Omega South site have been amended with some housing being replaced by two further large warehouses which have been built to let and are situated close to the M62 J8 roundabout. Once occupied, this will lead to a further increase in HGV traffic movement.
Traffic management has been covered in the applicant’s statement and the St Helens Local Plan recognises the need for improved public transport for access to the area, which would hopefully reduce car use for travel to work at the site. We have highlighted the fact that there is no current public transport to the site from St Helens or Warrington. Mersey Travel have responded to the consultation stating that approval will require a bespoke travel plan with a financially supported bus service. There is no indication in any of the documents as far as we can see as to how this will be funded in perpetuity.
It is our view, supported by the Mersey Travel comments, that the overwhelming majority of employees will travel to the site by private car. The numbers of cars parked at existing premises within the site, we submit reinforces this assertion. There are only two vehicle access points for all traffic, 1) via J8 of the M62; 2) from the A57, Liverpool Road via Lingley Green Avenue/Whittle Avenue and Omega Boulevard.
Great Sankey Parish Council has interpreted Section 4.6.2 of the St Helens Local Plan as stating that it is Warrington Borough Council who are seeking the development to meet their own employment needs. We are aware however that, when discussed by Warrington Borough Council’s Development Committee on 5th August, considerable reservations were raised in respect of aspects of the proposal which have been included in comprehensive correspondence forwarded to yourselves.
Finally, as part of our submission dated 27th May 2020, we enclosed a copy of an article from the Liverpool Echo dated 13th October 2015. This confirmed the building of a new distribution warehouse at Gilmoss, Liverpool for T.J. Morris. We would expect that the earliest this could have opened would have been in late 2016. The work required for this application on Omega must have commenced in 2019, presumably on the basis that the current three-year old premises no longer meet their needs. We submit that, to a layperson, this suggests a lack of business planning skills which causes us to have concerns as to whether this proposal will meet their long-term requirements. Any further additional future development will add further to the inconvenience of local residents.
In concluding, we ask that you consider in your deliberations, whether it is appropriate for this development to proceed, knowing that the only access which can be achieved is via the already extremely busy road network of a neighbouring authority which is already causing traffic problems for local residents.
If this planning application is approved there is no scope for ameliorating the additional inconvenience and congestion on the local road network which, because of the site access issues, will only contribute to a diminution in the overall wellbeing of our residents. For this reason, we would ask that the application be rejected.
Chair of Great Sankey Parish Council