I HAVE to say the whole Warrington Port plan has sort of passed me by.

I can't really get my head around the concept of a port on the Manchester Ship Canal but better minds than mine seem to think it's a good idea.

To bring me up to speed, I've did a bit of research about the subject.

I found a story in the Guardian's archive dating back to March 2010 which reported that the £20 million scheme was submitted by the Manchester Ship Canal Company for the port at Acton Grange, Birchwood Lane, in Moore.

Councillors on the development control committee back then voted unanimously to approve the plans with a stipulation that work must start on the project within seven years.

But even then, there were concerns. Clr Foster, from Moore Parish Council, said the increase in traffic and HGV movements on Runcorn Road would cause problems as it is narrow road and said the applicant had not specified the volume of goods that would be transported on the road.

And, of course, one of the problems is the port is right next to Moore nature reserve with all the environmental issues that brings.

But it looks all systems go for an expanded Port Warrington.

Flo Mix UK's planning application to build an industrial building and two silos on vacant land, off Moore Lane, was passed by the council last week.

The proposed use of the site – which is adjacent to the entrance of Moore Nature Reserve – is for the mixing and distribution of dry mortar for the construction industry, according to a report in the Guardian.

And the same issues that were raised more than eight years ago are still present with the design and access statement saying the site will initially be dependent upon the existing roads for the delivery of materials.

However, the planning application says the site owners – Peel Ports have an 'aspiration' to undertake further development in the future which will enable materials to be imported via the Ship Canal.

Wow. Materials delivered by boat to a site at a port – that's pretty revolutionary.

Anyway, group planning director Warren Marshall supported the planning application by writing not one but two letters to the council.

He said: "The application site forms part of our wider landholding, which has an authorised use for storage and distribution, and is part of our aspiration to develop a multi-modal Port Warrington.

"There is an existing berth (Acton Grange Wharf), which would enable the utilisation of the Manchester Ship Canal for the sustainable movement of sand and aggregates, thereby reducing the amount of HGV movements that would otherwise occur.

"There is a longer-term plan being promoted for the development of an enlarged multi-modal Port Warrington encompassing increased water freight, the reinstatement of the rail freight connection and improved access as part of the Warrington Western Link.

"All of these matters form part of the Warrington waterfront initiative being progressed between Peel Group and Warrington Council as part of the local plan review."

All sounds very reasonable when you put it like that.

Or is it?

Now I don't want to be one of those Warrington Borough Council-Peel Holdings conspiracy theorists.

But I would like to ask a couple of questions here.

How can an initiative be in the process of being progressed (I think he means it's actually happening) if it is part of a review? Don't we have to wait for the outcome of a review before we can take action?

And we were sold the idea of the Warrington Western Link road as the key to taking pressure of the town centre traffic problems, not as an access road for Warrington Port which will inevitably bring more heavy goods traffic.

Which is it? We need to know.