VALE Royal borough council's plans for Winsford came under attack from organisations and individuals this week.

As the Guardian reported last week, the council aims to make large amounts of land available for homes and to create jobs.

But the latest draft Local Plan - which shapes the town for the next decade - has been criticised for sacrificing too much countryside.

Many objections are likely to be made leading to a public inquiry in around 12 months time.

The Middlewich-based Council for the Protection of Rural England was studying the document and would probably object, said chairman Stuart Hogg.

Sites like the new homes planned for Knights Grange were eating up precious countryside, he said.

Mr Hogg explained: "The draft local plan could break Government policy.

"What they should be doing is looking at 'brownfield' sites, derelict land already built on, and using that instead of allowing building in the countryside.

"It is only my first impression, but the council seems to have turned to the easy option of going straight to greenfield sites."

Cheshire County Council considered the plan at an Evironmental Services Committee and objected on two grounds.

It is calling for the amount of land reserved for job creation to be reduced by 80 hectares.

And the scheme to reserve land east of King Street for a large employer breaks its own structure plan.

Nick Andrews, of Nun House Drive, is one of several townspeople who were shocked when they saw what the council intended for Winsford.

Mr Andrews' home is close to the industrial estate where more factories and a rail-freight terminal are pencilled in.

The Davenham-bypass and housebuilding threatened to swallow the countryside between Northwich and Winsford, he said.

The borough council should put stricter limits on the use of land, he said.

He said: "There's a nice open green space but all this development is ruining the countryside. There's not much left and we need to keep it."

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