A WAR of words has erupted after the council's planning committee turned down a controversial planning application to open a waste transfer station on Winwick Road.

Around £900,000 has been spent on the council's failed plan to build the proposed £7.83 million facility.

The application had been met with anger from residents and politicians following fears over traffic, odours, air quality and vermin.

Cllr Bob Barr, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: "The Labour executive board led by councillors Terry O’Neill and Russ Bowden has to take full responsibility for failing to understand the strength of resident objections and the strength of backing that residents had from back-bench Labour councillors. They ploughed on regardless.

"Winwick Road is the wrong site for a Waste Transfer Station.

"Air pollution already exceeds legal limits along this road, it is highly congested, and inadequately cleaned.

"If you have any faith in the future development of the town, this site will become a prime location, once the few available sites in the town centre and Stadium Quarter are used up.

"It should not be blighted by placing an unpopular waste facility here.

"Those living, working and studying close to the proposed site, as well as those relying on the A49, deserve better than this attempt to impose a decision.

"The leader, deputy leader and executive board member should take full responsibility for this costly and wasteful error and consider their positions.

But Cllr Bowden has hit back at the 'frankly ridiculous' claims that there has been a massive financial loss to the council.

He added: "A large part of the expenditure so far is not specific to this site, but has supported the development of this important concept as part of a coherent waste strategy for Warrington.

"That work can and will be applied to an alternative site in the future. Any site-specific survey work will also be used in the future use of the site on Athlone Road.”

“It is this Labour administration that is meeting the challenges that were shirked by the Lib Dems when they were in control."

Cllr Hitesh Patel, executive member for personnel and communications, added: "For the Lib Dems to say that all the time and resources put into developing the waste transfer site concept application has all been wasted is not only wrong and it is deliberately misleading.

"But then again what do you expect from a party that mislead the country with pledges about university tuition fees and who seem to have conveniently forgotten that they truly wasted valuable council resources developing plans to sell off Walton Hall, used officer time to look building an incinerator near a residential area and we can all recall the fiasco of Westbrook Asda roundabout which the Lib Dems installed and then were forced to remove after a massive public protest."