3 August 2016
Notes from Meeting with Residents re Florida Farm North Development (27/8/16)
Councillors in Attendance:
Paul Mc Quade
Also in Attendance: Connor McGinn MP
Introduction from Councillors:
The application will be validated in 16 weeks, responses from Environment Agency will be posted
There is provision to to use greenbelt but there is a general presumption against. Needs to have “very special needs”
The Coalition Act 2011 ‘let local people have a say in local planning issues’
Presumption in favour of sustainable development.
If a development isn’t acceptable in can be refused. Council can take account of:
National and local environmental, social and economic impacts. Environmental impacts that can be considered include traffic, dust and noise.
The council can’t take account of “factual misrepresentations in planning application” or job types.
A chartered surveyor (Andrew), advised looking at the National Planning Policy Framework paragraphs 79-92
This clearly states that planning can only be granted on greenbelt in exceptional circumstances such as graveyard or for sporting use. Material considerations such as jobs are NOT considered exceptional circumstances.
Martin (Haydock Resident) Is there an estimate of the HGV traffic that will be involved? Council response: Not seen application yet.
A lot of residents voiced concerns over increased traffic from the proposed site these included concern over increased air pollution, the noise, safety and the fact that the roads are regularly gridlocked already. Residents pointed out there have already been many serious accidents at Haydock Lane and East Lancs Road. Concerns about queuing traffic from Haydock Island were raised. One resident informed the meeting that Manchester council are currently considering closing Junction 24 on the M6 and making J25 operational both ways. Residents pointed out that the increased HGV traffic will inevitably lead to queuing on their roads which will mean that their children will be unable to play out as well as suffering from air and noise pollution.
The council responded that the Highways Agency will be one of the agencies consulted with the planning application.
A lot of residents voiced concerns about flooding. Blackbrook is a Category Three Flood zone. If the proposed development goes ahead the only place for standing water to go will be Clipsey Brook which will make flooding virtually inevitable in periods of heavy rain.
A Garswood resident pointed out that the greenbelt land is currently an arable site which hosts a variety of wildlife such as water vole. This wildlife would not survive in the proposed woodland area suggested by Bericote.
One resident voiced concerns that the Bericote proposal has come at this time because Bericote believe that the Parkside proposal for an enormous distribution centre will come to pass and therefore Florida Farm site will be ideally placed to offer storage. He pointed out that Bericote have proposed this development without any storage users yet.
Another resident questioned the 2500 job figures that Bericote have talked about at the planning consultation. He pointed out that a warehouse development of a similar size, Travis Perks in Warrington, employs 450 people.
A resident pointed out that the greenbelt area of Florida Farm North is well used by local residents for walking and enjoying the outdoors. Concerns were raised that this will be a great loss for all residents in particular the elderly.
The council finished the meeting by reminding people that objections to the proposal need to be sent individually because one objection signed by many people would only count as one objection.