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MP has 'vendetta' against planning department - Lib Dems say
8:05am Wednesday 6th February 2013 in News
LIBERAL Democrat planning spokesman Bob Barr has accused Warrington North MP Helen Jones of a ‘vendetta’ against the council’s planning department.
And in a stinging attack, he says her comments this week - where she has called for planning chief Andy Farrall to resign - are undermining the fight against development at Peel Hall.
Satnam are looking to build a major housing development on the land, north of Orford.
Clr Barr said: “Helen Jones MP has emailed her constituents to continue her attack on officers at Warrington Borough Council.
“Instead of telling Satnam, the developers pushing again for a strongly opposed development on Peel Hall Farm, to get lost, she is providing them with encouragement by unreasonably criticising officers over this case.
“Satnam are trying to use a procedural quibble over the time taken to deal with the application to get it determined by a Planning Inspector rather than Warrington Borough Council.
“It is normal for complex applications to take longer than eight weeks and the figure is a target not a deadline.
“Warrington Borough Council had already written to Satnam explaining that they would need up to 13 weeks to deal with the matter.
“A similar procedural wrangle was used unsuccessfully last week by the company wanting to extend the life of Arpley tip against local wishes.
“Many residents have campaigned and petitioned against this development and all political parties are united in opposing it. Warrington's policy is that no development will take place at Peel Hall Farm for at least the next 15 years.
“The planning department does need improvement and all parties are working together to make sure this happens. But, the last thing they need is to have their actions to protect Peel Hall Farm undermined by the MP.
“Helen Jones and the three councillors, Chris Vobe, Billy Lines-Rowlands and Steve Roberts, supporting her need to consider what is best for the people of Warrington North.
“They should have asked how to work with the Council to prevent Satnam from building on Peel Hall Farm.
“Instead they have chosen to continue their vendetta against Warrington’s planning department.”