MOORE could be wiped from the map as both Warrington and Halton council compete for green belt land close to the rural village, say residents.

Fears over Warrington Borough Council’s (WBC) local plan preferred development option (PDO) continue to be raised by residents and politicians across the town.

The authority’s PDO sets out how Warrington can meet its development needs of approximately 24,000 new homes and 381 hectares of employment land over the next 20 years.

Around 15,000 new homes and 129 hectares for employment can be delivered in existing urban areas, so green belt will be required to pave the way for 9,000 homes and 252 hectares for employment.

Peel Holdings has put forward 125 hectares of land for housing in Higher Walton, off Chester Road, with the site having the potential to deliver up to 1,800 properties.

It has also submitted 74 hectares of land for Port Warrington – one of the biggest employment locations the council is proposing.

But in a Halton Borough Council executive board report in December, the neighbouring authority put forward its concerns.

However it is yet to publish its plans for the future.

The report stated: “Halton’s principal concerns are the Port Warrington element of the wider Warrington waterfront proposal and the south west urban extension, Walton to Moore.

“These two proposals see Warrington extend across the green belt to join Halton’s boundary.

“Warrington’s proposals include the removal of green belt between Runcorn and Warrington, potentially having an impact on possible development options within Halton’s own delivery and allocations local plan (DALP).

"Warrington is progressing a pro-development ‘New City’ concept.

"Given their locational advantages and strong economic performance, this will increase competition for investment for surrounding boroughs.”

HBC officers will ‘seek resolutions’ to the concerns but, if unsuccessful, the authority has stated it ‘may have to lodge and maintain formal objections to Warrington’s plan through to independent examination’.

Moore residents believe the village will be ‘swamped’ with new housing and industrial units due to the removal of green belt land.

Village campaigners say the number of dwellings in the area could grow from 390 to around 1,950 if Halton’s plan is adopted.

Moore resident Sharon Saberi said: “The upshot of all this is that Moore and its immediate surrounding environs could actually find itself increased by around one thousand percent to as many as 4,400 homes over the next 20 years.

“The village itself will, in effect, cease to exist and Warrington and Halton will merge into one huge conurbation – with Moore at its centre.

“While we accept that some new housing is needed, the scale of all these developments is preposterous and it doesn’t appear as though the two local authorities are speaking to one another.”

Warrington South MP Faisal Rashid is continuing to voice objections to Port Warrington.

The Labour politician has backed the Western Link scheme but is opposing proposals for the port, as well as plans to build on green belt.

WBC confirmed it ‘understands’ Peel are currently developing proposals for the port, which ‘have yet to be shared with the council’.

A spokesman added: "Currently, Port Warrington comprises some 15.5 hectares of operational port land along the Ship Canal.

"The proposal for the expansion of the port is at an early stage in its development.

“The tonnage moved would be dependent upon the scale of the scheme they intend to develop.

“The opening and operating dates for Port Warrington will be decided upon by Peel once they have completed their proposals and all necessary planning processes.”

Fears also continue to mount over the future of Moore Nature Reserve, with residents urging the authority to save it from development.

Warrington Guardian:

The spokesman said: “In regard to Moore Nature Reserve, until Peel issue their proposals, it is impossible to determine any impact their preferred scheme would have. The draft local plan will address impact on the nature reserve.

“Any proposals would be subject to normal planning processes which would always consider the environmental impact of any proposed development and any possible mitigation measures.”

Warrington Guardian:

The two main employment locations the council is proposing in its PDO are the expansion of Port Warrington, as part of the wider waterfront strategic development proposal, and a major new site in Appleton Thorn, which will form part of the proposed garden city suburb.

The waterfront development ‘remains dependent upon the development of’ the proposed £212.74 million Western Link scheme.

The spokesman added: “In the possible event of a refusal of funding, the council would consider all options available, such as alternative funding sources or a much reduced waterfront development.

“The council does, however, remain committed to the current funding bid and is hopeful of a successful outcome.”

A spokeswoman for Peel Land & Property and Peel Ports said they are ‘working closely’ with WBC on the development of the local plan.

She added: “Any concerns will be addressed as part of the appropriate consultation and planning process.”

Consultation on the Halton DALP is open until next Thursday, with Moore Parish Council encouraging residents to respond.

It will replace the remaining policies and includes allocating land for development up to 2037.

Representations should be sent to or posted to Forward Planning, Halton Borough Council, Municipal Building, Kingsway, Widnes WA8 7QF.