A PUBLIC inquiry into plans for a Home Bargains warehouse on green belt in Bold has closed.

In October 2020, St Helens Council’s planning committee approved proposals for the major site.

However, the scheme was later called in by the secretary of state for housing communities and local government Robert Jenrick.

The public inquiry into the plans has now formally closed.

The planning inspector will consider the evidence submitted and write a report for the secretary of state.

The Planning Inspectorate is unsure when the report will be sent, but says it is more likely to be in the summer.

The secretary of state would usually make a decision within three months of receiving it.

He has the power to call in planning applications rather than letting the local authority decide.

The secretary of state will normally only do this if the application conflicts with national policy in important ways, or is nationally significant.

But he has to take published Government policy into account when deciding whether or not to call in a planning application and when making the decision.

If the secretary of state decides to call in a planning application, an inspector is appointed to carry out an inquiry into the proposal.

The secretary of state has to take the inspector’s findings into account when making the decision.