Posted by: westlancashirerecord | June 6, 2017

Who Wants Local Plan Supporter Doreen Stephenson Sitting For Parrs Lane?

Rejected by Halsall, nominated for Aughton Park, including Parrs Lane, Long Lane, and part of Prescot Road, Doreen Stephenson is the Conservative party candidate on Thursday 8th June and is inextricably linked to the development of the “Land to the north-west of Parrs Lane, Aughton, West Lancashire”. The developer states that “The site was allocated for longer term development should it be needed, through the West Lancashire Borough Council Local Plan 2012-2027 at policy GN2 as Safeguarded Land, within the Settlement Boundary and as a ‘Plan B’ site. The site is identified at GN2(a)(i) Land at Parrs Lane, Aughton as having a capacity for 400 dwellings. This includes the Wainhomes site to the west”.

As we all know the 2013 Motion for the Local Plan was voted for by Councillors Ashcroft, Mrs Atherley, Bailey, Baldock, Baybutt, Mrs Blake, Blane, Cheetham, Cropper, Mrs C Evans, Mrs R Evans, Forshaw, Fowler, Grant, Greenall, Griffiths, Mrs Hopley, Mrs Houlgrave, Jones, Kay, Ms Melling, O’Toole, Owens, Pope, Mrs Stephenson, Sudworth, Westley and Whittington (Twenty Eight). RESOLVED: That the West Lancashire Local Plan 2012-2027 Development Plan Document (DPD), as attached at Appendix A to the Council Report, and the accompanying Policies Map, be adopted.

Stephenson is nominated for the Conservative Party by some of the above including I D Grant (Seconder), U Atherley, and G Jones, all of whom sit on the Aughton Parish Council (APC) where D Westley and D O’Toole (APC resident) occasionally attend and can be heard by the APC. Indeed D O’Toole recently attended the Annual APC to deliver his annual LCC report, and during the Police report and questions he imposed himself on the meeting by being allowed to deliver 3 longwinded questions/speeches that took 9 minutes of public question time. No member of the public received such a gratuitous favour.

The nomination of Stephenson  has sadly denied residents of Aughton Park the opportunity to wipe the Plan B/Parrs Lane slate clean of its political connotations. After WLBC re-voted against the development the Appellant submitted a High Court challenge to the decision and the Secretary of State issued a Consent Order on the 3rd April 2017 quashing the appeal decision, on the basis that the Inspector had not addressed the Appellant’s case that affordable housing could be secured by condition. The Court ordered that the appeal be re-determined in respect of a S288 challenge.

Stephenson writes about her “considerable council knowledge and experience” and her “appreciation of the importance of the Local Plan” and her “determination to protect Aughton’s greenbelt from the Merseyside urban sprawl”. Really? Her previous mild concerns about greenbelt land were for solar and wind farms but not for housing developments for 400 units on prime agricultural land. We residents of Aughton might wonder what experience she will bring from Halsall where her own memories must be of acrimony between her and residents and eventual absence from the parish meetings ?

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