Posted by: westlancashirerecord | December 20, 2018

Rainford Safeguarded Land, Removed From Green Belt, Not Allocated For Development, Sits Somewhere In Between!

From Rainford Action Group, Press Release 6 December 2018 “The next version of the Local Plan has been published today. This is the version that will be put before the planning inspector by St Helens Council. We wanted this version to be radically different to the last – and it is. The number of sites in Rainford earmarked for housing has been cut from six to one, I’ll repeat that, SIX to ONE. Another site close to Sandwash Close has been earmarked for an industrial unit.

“This is obviously a good result for the village. Even better news is the council is no longer stretching its plan over 30 years but 15 years. This means it is more realistic. The bad news is that the Rookery Lane/Higher Lane site has been earmarked for housing consisting of 259 houses in total. This is grade one agricultural land. Where farmers currently grow crops but, if plans go ahead, there will be housing expanding across that land in the future.  Can you spot the problem? Yep, the land floods! Badly!

“Our concern is this will be the thin end of the wedge. If planning permission is granted on that site, all the neighbouring fields could be threatened in the future. We’re going to take time now to look more closely at this plan and read the small print before making official comment. We suggest you do too”.

NB 12 December “Cllr Bowden, cabinet member balanced development, housing and economic opportunity, says the Local Plan will deliver affordable housing. Says the plan specifies a provision on 30% affordable housing. Says it is a “balanced” plan”.

And “Melanie Hale Development Control Manager at St Helens Council is now discussing the “safeguarded land”, land that cannot be developed in the Local Plan’s 15-year period. She says it is removed from the green belt, but not allocated for development, saying it sits “somewhere in-between”!

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