PENKETH needs to stand up for itself.

Your opinion piece in last week’s Guardian headlined ‘Maybe residents in west need to become cry babies to get things done’ was quite right.

As a Penketh resident I fully expect 1,310 homes to be built on the Fiddlers Ferry site under the revised local plan and, to be honest, almost any development would be an improvement on a massive coal-fired power station.

Penketh, however, should get something in return. For a start, and because there was a power station there, energy efficiency needs to be at the heart of the development.

Triple glazing and solar panels should be standard and wi-fi should be connected to every home and business from the off.

That’s a start but it’s not enough. Penketh deserves more and I would like to see the historic Sankey Canal reopened from Spike Island in Widnes to Sankey Bridges and eventually extended to meet the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and the rest of the canal network.

This is not a new idea. SCARS – Sankey Canal Restoration Society – was formed in 1985 with the aim of returning the canal to full navigation. It is, however, an idea whose time has come.

The stumbling block to restoration in the past has always been financial. Now money should be made available as part of the scheme to redevelop the Fiddlers Ferry site. If not now, then when?

A fully-restored Sankey Canal could attract visitors to the area for decades to come and generate leisure and employment opportunities.

Input from the Environment Agency would also mean that any development could bolster our flood defences and, because of global warming, we all know how important that will be.

Yes, Penketh can accommodate more people and more homes but don’t take us for granted.