CANDIDATES battling to win the Warrington South seat on Thursday are vowing to fight to protect green belt land.

More than 7,000 homes were earmarked for green belt in the council’s draft local plan.

But, as previously reported, the publication of the local plan has been delayed after it was pushed back until 2020.

Ahead of this week’s general election, Labour candidate Faisal Rashid has told residents he is the only credible option to take on ‘green belt developers and big polluters’ by putting people in the area first.

He highlighted his objections to the draft local plan and Eddie Stobart’s application to build a warehouse in south Warrington.

“My track record as a local MP shows my genuine commitment to promoting green issues,” he said.

“In this general election I am proud of my record fighting to protect our green belt from development.

“In our manifesto, Labour have committed to adopting the brownfield-first approach that I have been championing since I was first elected.

“I have successfully objected to a number of planning applications, including applications from Eddie Stobart, Six56 Warrington employment site and Peel Ports’ Port Warrington development plan.

“I have supported plans for town centre regeneration including residential development, so that Warrington has a thriving town centre and the pressure for residential development in the green belt is reduced.”

But Liberal Democrat candidate Cllr Ryan Bate says he thinks people ‘will struggle to accept’ Mr Rashid’s version of events on the local plan.

“The Liberal Democrats and I have consistently campaigned against the local plan,” he said.

“We have worked across south Warrington to fight developers and the council.

“This is a Labour council plan, driven by a Tory government. I will fight locally and nationally to give people the say they deserve on planning.

“I have already spoken at countless planning meetings, I’ve won concessions from developers and I will keep fighting on behalf of the people and communities of Warrington South if elected to be their MP.”

Conservative candidate Andy Carter also put forward his views on the matter.

He said: “The real problem for Warrington over the last two years is that we’ve had a Labour dominated council and two Labour MPs, who’ve ignored the views of residents on everything from Brexit to the destruction of the green belt with a wholly unsuitable local plan.

“This election is an opportunity to vote for someone who will stand up for people in Warrington South without fear of upsetting his mates on the council.

“Someone who will work with a Conservative Government to protect our green spaces and who will work to maintain a strong economy so that we’re able to invest in public services.”