Peel Hall Consultation

This piece of open space in the north of Warrington between the M62 and Orford & Cinnamon Brow has been owned by the developer Satnam since the 1980’s. It was originally agricultural land, and is now one of the last remaining areas of open grassland, trees and pond in the area. It has been been surveyed by the Warrington Nature Conservation forum as having at least 67 species of birds, 78 of moths and butterflies, three of amphibians, 10 of mammals and two of bats on the site. More information on this group can be found at:

https://www.facebook.com/Warrington-Nature-Conservation-Forum-110886079024465/?fref=ts

This short-eared owl was captured by Ste Dodd a few weeks ago (January 5th) showing what could be lost if this area is developed for more housing:

Back in August 1999, people in the area were awoken by the noise of bulldozers and a JCB moving on to the area. They saw shrubs, trees and willows being ripped up. When council officials arrived on the site, having been called by the residents, they were told that the land was being cleared on the order of the owners. Satnam developments submitted plans to build 150 homes on what is referred to as Phase 1 on this land in 2012. Many believed this is to be the thin end of over a thousand home wedge, that will destroy the natural habitat of what has been described as the lungs of North Warrington.

Even though this application was rejected not only by the local planning committee and by a government inspector, a high court challenge against the local plan was made by Satnam in early 2015:

 http://www.warringtonguardian.co.uk/news/11808058.Peel_Hall_housing_development_closer_after_High_Court_challenge/

On the 15th January 2016 the new proposals were unveiled with 1200 homes, employment zone, and a local centre. The site is planned to transformed over 15 years if the application is successful. A letter about the proposal display at a local church was said to be sent out for the 23rd January to 4,000 homes. However myself and many others close by and adjacent to the development failed to receive this notification, so glad that Facebook and local media exist to spread the word. The plan can be seen on the aerial view below and more information found at the PR agency used by Satnam at:

http://www.resultscommunications.co.uk/consultations/01_Peel%20Hall%20Farm_Public%20Consultation%20-%20INVITATION_230116.pdf

 

 

I went along to the consultation at the Church of the Resurrection and St Bridget on Saturday 23rd and as expected were many local people with critical comments and points to raise about the proposal. Myself and my partner raised the major point of the extra traffic using Poplars Avenue and past the Aldi store on Sandy Lane West, which is already severely congested at certain times of the day. The consultant responded along the lines of “the council and traffic management plan will look into that”, which didn’t seem very inspiring. Another point I saw was the access, with some homes along Poplars Avenue which apparently have been “acquired” or in the process of being to create the access roads into the site. I could go on to the loss of wildlife which was mentioned above, although more information and pictures can be found at:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/woodlandwildlifeagainst/

I feel this development is unwanted by the people locally for many reasons including the extra traffic, access to the new homes, loss of wildlife and habitat, and the loss of sports field and green space. There is always other land in Warrington that could used for housing if needed, with other land already earmarked locally. Feedback can be given to the consultation until the 13th February, which can be done online or by post through the Results Communications website:

http://www.resultscommunications.co.uk/consultations.aspx 

For more information and other ways to share your view there are the facebook groups:

https://www.facebook.com/FightAgainstPeelHallDevelopment/info?tab=page_info

https://www.facebook.com/groups/510153435857814/

 

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ICE nomination for Warrington Transporter

Recently great news was received about the nomination of the Heritage Award for the North West Civil Engineering Awards, for the Warrington Transporter Bridge. The Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) use these awards to showcase the collective and individual achievements of civil engineers and civil engineering, with a dinner ceremony in Carlisle on the 26th February. I am proud to be part of the Friends of Warrington Transporter Bridge and the promotion it has achieved both locally, nationally and even as far away as Germany with followers on the Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/SaveWarringtonTransporterBridge/ 

transporter

The Transporter Bridge is 100 years old and has become famous throughout the world as one of the last eight left (three in the UK, with Middlesbrough and Newport in Wales being the other two). It is also the last rail transporter as it was built to carry rail wagons across the Mersey and was used up to the 1960’s.

More detail about the history can be found on the website:

http://www.warringtontransporterbridge.co.uk/history.html

“To qualify for a Heritage Award, the work of civil engineering – which could include any infrastructure relating to transport, energy, water and sewerage, waste management, flood defences or structures such as stadiums, piers, bridges or similar – must be at least 70 years old. Nominations for the first ever North West Civil Engineering Award have come in from Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside and the Isle of Man.”

The other projects nominated for the new Heritage Award are:

  • Woolston Eyes Footbridge, Warrington
  • The Stevenson family Lighthouse (Collection), Isle of Man
  • Blackpool Tower, Blackpool
  • Old Tram Bridge, River Ribble, Avenham Park, Preston
  • Albert Edward Dock, Watery Lane, Preston
  • Hodbarrow Sea Defences, Duddon Sands, Millom
  • Wigan Lock Flight, Leeds & Liverpool Canal
  • Lune Aqueduct, Lancaster Canal
  • Nantwich Aqueduct, Nantwich
  • Ballure Bridge, Ramsey, Isle of Man
  • Victoria Station, Manchester
  • Historic Shelter, Blackpool

more information on the ICE and the awards can be found at:

https://www.ice.org.uk/near-you/uk/north-west/awards/north-west-civil-engineering-awards?utm_source=hootsuite 

Margaret Ingham,  chair of Friends of Warrington Transporter Bridge has described the news as a ‘great boost’ for the campaign to make the Transporter Bridge better known and more appreciated in the north west. Margaret and  myself also think it be great to show this Award off at the centenary celebration day if awarded, which is being planned for later this year.

More on the story can be found in Warrington Worldwide and  the Warrington Guardian:

http://www.warrington-worldwide.co.uk/2016/01/21/historic-bridges-nominated-for-heritage-award/

http://www.warringtonguardian.co.uk/news/14221990.Two_historic_bridges_in_Warrington_shortlisted_for_civil_engineering_award/

My First Business Breakfast

The excitement and nerves hit me when I woke up, and lay there waiting for the alarm to go off. I quickly somehow move from the confines of the warm bed and grab my shirt and trousers, to as not miss the bus. I find my tie has cat hair all over it; suppose that’ll teach me from leaving it by the radiator. Is one of Jasper’s favourite places to sleep other than on my lap or by the gas fire in the lounge.

jasper

I made the bus, and sat down on the journey into Warrington bus station. My nerves have mostly gone, as feel this will be a great experience, and I was happy to get more involved in the Love Warrington campaign, to show what a great town this is. I walked down Bridge Street as it continues to get lighter and think how disgusted I am about the litter (no doubt from the Tuesday night out for some), and like around my area of Orford is something I would like to clean up.

Anyway I am moving on to different topics here. I waited and crossed the road as Bridgefoot being the busiest junction/roundabout in Warrington which anyone going through will know. I walk a couple more minutes and arrive at the Village Hotel (I’m so glad it didn’t rain). I look around the lobby area for a board to say where the breakfast is, but can’t see one so ask the friendly guy at the reception desk which way is the Love Warrington event, who tells me down the stairs on the right. I hear is another delegate behind me and we go down together, sharing how glad we both made it in time.

I enter the conference room which has been set out with the chairs, and give my name and am given a name badge that says blogger. This surprised me although I suppose twitter is micro-blogging and I do share posts about the town. Also it gave me the idea to start this blog page, which I will do my best to keep up. I first talked to a guy called Jonathan from Warrington & Co who has been to a few of these breakfasts before. I know in time I will grow in confidence in networking, but do manage to say a little about myself.

I see some bacon rolls and put one on a plate after pouring some orange juice; into a glass, not down myself  (that would be a funny story). I chat to another guy and then the talk by David Briggs, the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire. I found the talk fascinating and inspiring, as David had some funny stories about the Queen, how he got the role which is largely ceremonial, and about issues facing Cheshire in regard to charities and the work he is undertaking by creating Cheshire Youth United and Cheshire Connect.

lwarrington

(photo from twitter feed of Love Warrington)

Overall I left feeling was a great talk, with lots to think about and get involved in. I will definitely come along to the next talk in February and keep in touch with delegates as I go.

To find out more about the Love Warrington campaign:

https://www.facebook.com/lovewarrington/ 

https://twitter.com/Love_Warrington