I'VE been following the Gulliver’s World saga from afar with a great deal of interest and a wry smile on my lips.

The children’s theme park in Old Hall wanted to build a woodland-themed holiday resort at the site which is close to the Westbrook Centre.

The planning application was for lodges and a caravan site.

The application said the new additions could be erected in woodland to the south east of the existing park.

The plans also included a ‘pet resort’, spa, staff headquarters, storage workshop and accommodation for school groups and clubs.

For those not up to speed with the planning process, council officers carefully consider applications and recommend approval or rejection to the councillors who sit on the development control committee. The officers judge applications against a range of planning considerations.

But planning officers can’t consider matters which are sometimes raised but are not normally planning considerations such as the perceived loss of property value.

Cue howls of protest from nearby residents as soon as the application was lodged and the rumblings of discontent got even louder when the planning officers, having carefully considered all the relevant planning laws and regulations, recommended that the application should be given the go-ahead.

Take, for example, this letter sent to the Guardian: “Over the last couple of years, I have been delighted to have had close sightings of our local wildlife, especially in the areas around Bog and Twig wood which are signposted to be destroyed in the development plans.

"Wildlife such as bats, frogs, fieldmice, hedgehogs, foxes, rabbits…and birds such as kingfishers, jays, buzzards, woodpeckers, swifts, house-martins, to name just a few.

"We are blessed to have such an array of wildlife on our doorstep and I hope you have all been privileged to witness this.

“I fear though, that if this proposed development should go ahead, this will signal the end of so much of the wildlife so many of the locals enjoy, as the habitat will be destroyed and will mean they have to seek their homes elsewhere.

“Why is it that we live in a time when the trees that have surrounded us for decades are being destroyed?”

Good points well made and representative of the 1,000 or so objections to the plan from residents.

But it seems the fine people of Westbrook and Old Hall have either very short memories or an under-developed sense of irony.

I’ve lived in this part of the town long enough to remember when large parts of what is now Westbrook were open countryside, RAF Burtonwood and farmland. There was plenty of wildlife habitat and absolutely no traffic back then.

As a young man, I can clearly recall going on idyllic rural walks, enjoying the wildlife. Your house probably sits now where I used to walk.

So it was ok for that land to be used to build your houses, was it? What about the poor wildlife and loss of habitat then? What about all the extra traffic your housing estate brought to my area? Classic nimbyism.

In any event, the planning committee narrowly agreed the Gulliver’s World expansion can go ahead so I suppose the kingfishers are going to have to find somewhere else to live.

While we’re talking about planning and an under-developed sense of irony, I notice housing minister Robert Jenrick has given himself emergency powers to order the construction of Brexit lorry parks.

Residents will have no say over the construction of the sites, which are required because of growing fears that truck drivers will face long delays to enter the EU, or be turned away altogether.

One is earmarked for the former Shearings site in Appleton Thorn and is expected to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Needless to say, it has been welcomed by Warrington South Tory MP Andy Carter because of the jobs it will bring…along with the constant procession of lorries.

Hang on a minute, isn’t this the same Andy Carter who vehemently opposed the Eddie Stobart logistics hub scheme (dare I point out lorries and jobs) at, you guessed it, Appleton Thorn.