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Concerns over Garden Suburb planning

February 11, 2020 8:43 PM

Ryan Bate

Councillor Ryan Bate has expressed his concerns that the Borough Council are conducting detailed discussions around the Garden Suburb concept of the Local Plan before the plan has been agreed.

Speaking at a meeting of the Supporting the Local Economy policy committee, Councillor Ryan Bate raised his concerns to fellow councillors and senior officers about the update that 'detailed discussions have commenced in earnest with Homes England in relation to project viability and deliverability'. Cllr Bate stated that he was deeply uncomfortable that this work is going on before the Local Plan has been finalised.

Explaining his concerns after the meeting, Cllr Bate said: 'there is a clear process for agreeing a Local Plan. Given the importance of the document for all aspects of our lives and futures, it is really important that this process is fair and transparent. We are currently waiting for the final draft of the Local Plan to be produced pending an examination in public. Within the versions of the Local Plan to date, the Garden Suburb has been one of the most controversial elements not least because of the significant loss of Green Belt which it involves. So for Warrington Borough Council, through Warrington & Co., to be progressing plans before the final Local Plan has been examined and agreed is highly questionable. It makes the Council appear to be treating the Garden Suburb and the Local Plan as a fait accompli and does very little to gain the public's trust in this most important of processes.'