A DEVELOPER battling build 1,200 homes on Peel Hall is fighting a Government inspector's decision to dismiss its appeal.

An appeal against Warrington Borough Council's decision to refuse Satnam's masterplan for the site was dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate in December following a public inquiry.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government confirmed the hearing – which will take place in the High Court – has been listed for July 16 and 17.

But the department did not wish to comment further because the matter is ongoing.

Warrington North MP Helen Jones had called on the Labour-run council to remove Peel Hall from the local plan.

But the authority's draft document sets out proposals to build around 1,200 homes and facilities, including a primary school and residential care home, on the 69-hectare site.

Campaigner Jim Sullivan has issued a rallying plea to residents following the latest developments.

He said: "We have been fighting Satnam's plans for 30 years.

"These plans have failed because they would have a catastrophic impact on health, quality of life and traffic congestion.

Warrington Guardian:

Campaigners and councillors have been battling to protect Peel Hall from development

"This is not the time to cave in – if anything, those negative impacts are far worse now than they were three decades ago."

Fellow campaigner and former borough councillor Geoff Settle also expressed fears over the proposals.

Speaking on behalf of Warrington Nature Conservation Forum members, he said: "We expected something like this from the developer he just keeps bouncing back from the jaws of defeat.

"We just hope that Warrington can put together once more a robust and technically reasoned case.

"If only this land could be turned over to the Woodland Trust and/or the Mersey Forest then it would be a great space for them to plant some of the one million trees that they are targeting for this year."

But Colin Griffiths, from Satnam, has responded to the comments.

He said: "We are strongly advised that the decision made late last year is flawed and biased, a view supported by the judge who granted us leave to appeal last month.

"As such, we had no option but to proceed to full hearing of that claim, beginning on July 16."

Mr Griffiths claims Mr Settle, as the ex-Poulton North borough councillor and former Mayor of Warrington, 'is well aware the council has played no active part in these proceedings' until Wednesday this week.

He also says, until that date, the council 'submitted no defence or case', leaving the matter to be defended only by the secretary of state.

"We note the intention of the council is for the Peel Hall site to be developed, in a similar manner to our proposals, as set out in the recently approved submission local plan," he added.

"Rather than planting trees on this site that all parties agree is in the urban area, perhaps his focus should be shifted to those large areas of the green belt proposed for housing development in the south of the borough."