ECO-FRIENDLY buildings in New York City and Milan have been shown to councillors as Warrington looks to embark on an ambitious vision to cut pollution by making the town centre greener.

A report from Warrington and Co’s Stephen Fitzsimons over the potential to incorporate green spaces into future town centre developments came before the supporting the local economy policy committee on Tuesday.

It followed a request from committee chairman Cllr Tom Jennings (LAB – Bewsey and Whitecross).

Video clips – which featured sites in London, New York and Milan – were shown to the committee to show how it is being carried out elsewhere.

Cllr Judith Wheeler (LD – Appleton) told members ‘we need to up our game on greenery’.

Cllr Paul Warburton (LAB – Chapelford and Old Hall) said: “Obviously the buildings that are being constructed, or are going to be constructed, in the town centre are going to be there for a long time, so any opportunity to introduce greenery in the centre of town, or across the town, will be welcomed.”

Shortly after, Cllr Tony Williams (LAB – Great Sankey North) also issued a plea.

He said: “There is no doubt about it, we definitely have to green Warrington up.

“There is no escape, it has got to be done.

“If we are going to repopulate the town centre, with lots more people, then the air quality is going to get even worse so we need to do something to remediate the air quality, in respect of more people living in the town centre. It is as simple as that for quality.”

He also highlighted the mental health-related benefits it can bring.

John Laverick, a senior figure in Warrington and Co’s development team, told members that Time Square ‘is what it is’ and green walls, in particular, were ‘not well understood’ when the town centre regeneration scheme was ‘first conceived’.

But he says there has since been a shift and people now, particularly in the north of England, understand ‘how to do it properly’.

The report from Mr Fitzsimons said there could be an opportunity to incorporate ‘urban greening’ into Warrington’s town centre masterplan for ‘many of the reasons that London is already doing it’.

Members backed a proposal to promote the incorporation of urban greening into future developments – which the cabinet will be informed of.

After the meeting, Cllr Jennings said: “I’m delighted that my urban greening proposal was well received by members, and through informed discussion with officers, the recommendation is to actively promote the inclusion of such green initiatives into future developments to clean our air, reduce the water run-off and brighten up our town with attractive eco-friendly features.”