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Peel Hall fight over for now - but new battle could start
2:00pm Thursday 8th August 2013 in News
CONTROVERSIAL plans to build on Peel Hall were finally stopped in their tracks but the ‘onslaught’ is not over.
Residents have been celebrating since the planning inspector ruled to reject the application on Wednesday, July 31, preventing Satnam from building 150 homes on the land.
But despite the victory, Clr Geoff Settle (LAB - Poulton North) claims the battle is far from over.
Clr Settle said: “It is a fantastic win for the people of Warrington but it’s only the second battle in the on-going war that has lasted for more than a decade.
“As a member of the planning committee for more than three years, I know that Satnam will be back in one shape or form - be prepared to gear up for another onslaught.”
Developers Satnam planned to build on the land off Mill Lane but were met with fierce opposition from residents and the council.
The blueprint had more than 160 objections from residents amid allegations that the area was not suitable for the development.
Planning inspector Julia Gregory ruled against the developer’s claims that it was a sustainable project and highlighted more than 60 reasons why the application should not go ahead.
Margaret Sheen, who lives at Peel Hall Farm, was dancing for joy when she discovered the news.
Mrs Sheen, who has worked tirelessly to campaign against the development for the last 11 months, said: “I started dancing when I read that it had been rejected.
“Peel Hall will get built on eventually but that could take 10 or 15 years. For now, we have the decision that we wanted.”
Houghton Green resident Betty Hammond said she was ‘absolutely delighted’ when she heard the news.
Mrs Hammond, who has lived with her husband Albert on Birch Tree Farm on Radley Lane for 40 years, said: “People have to stand up for what they believe and the community did just that.
“One good thing to come out of it all is that it has brought everyone closer together.”
The council’s executive board member for environment, Clr David Keane, said he was delighted by the refusal calling the plans ‘significantly flawed’.
Clr Keane said: “There were poor transport links, the proposed homes would have been too far away from the local primary school, and there was no provision for local facilities like shops.
“Overall the planning inspector quite rightly agreed with our argument that this development would not constitute sustainable development.
“Further, the proposed development didn’t comply with our policy, which is to prioritise growth in inner Warrington.”
THE array of wildlife found nesting at Peel Hall is no longer at risk after the planning application was rejected Ste Dodd, who documented the wide variety of wildlife and published his finding on a Facebook page, claimed the development posed a serious threat to abundance of wildlife which currently nests at Peel Hall.
Mr Dodd said: “Far too often developers bulldoze their plans through, quite literally in Satnam’s case.
“Peel Hall and the surrounding woodland are home to many red and orange listed birds, moths and butterflies to name but a few and should be shown the respect its owed.”
Mr Dodd, who claims he has worn his shoes out collecting evidence of wildlife living on the site, said: “It is heartwarming to see so many organisations coming together to provide a single voice, stating loud and clear what is happening to our wildlife.
“The repercussions could have been detrimental and I think I deafened the village when I was told by Margaret Sheen that it had been rejected.”
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