DEVELOPERS and the council are being urged to 'crack on' with the construction of a bridge across the Mersey after major plans were given the green light.

Maro Developments Ltd's planning application for the demolition of DriveTime golf range and Spectra Park industrial estate, as well as the excavation, segregation and processing of material on the land, off Slutchers Lane, has been approved by the authority.

Proposals are linked to what will be the first of two new bridges for the town.

Planning permission paves the way for key phases of the £19.3 million Centre Park link scheme, which are set to turn the land into a 'development platform'.

Part of the ambitious vision is the construction of a crossing over the Mersey to connect Chester Road to the town centre via Slutchers Lane.

The council confirmed the budget for the project, which aims to solve the town's traffic misery, remains at £19.3 million.

It is hoping to award the main contract in the autumn, with the construction phase due to last 16 months.

The project could be completed by spring 2019.

Warrington South MP David Mowat welcomed the planning decision.

He said: "I'm delighted that this project has now been given the green light.

"We now need to crack on and get this bridge completed as soon as possible."

A statement in documents put forward with the planning application confirmed a 'detailed ground investigation' was carried out by Integra Consulting Environmental.

It said: "The site has an area of approximately 15 hectares.

"It is proposed to eventually redevelop the site into other uses but the immediate intention is to carry out the remediation works contract to demolish existing buildings on the site and excavate, segregate and engineer fill the soils on site to a development platform level.

"It is also the intention in the future to construct a main link road across the site to connect Chester Road on the other side of the Mersey via a new road bridge to Slutchers Lane.

"This planning application is for the demolition and remediation works contract within the Spectra Park and DriveTime golf driving range only.

"The site contains numerous trees of little value."

Despite the application, which was registered on January 11, documents confirmed some of the work at the site started on November 28.

The second bridge, which will cross the Manchester Ship Canal, could be built by 2023.