Homes will ‘change the village forever’

Latest news.
Latest news.

Halton residents expressed their anger this week as plans for 60 new homes to be built in the village were given the green light by city councillors.

The scheme was approved on the planning committee chairman Coun Roger Sherlock’s casting vote after a split vote.

Several residents had spoken at the meeting of their concerns about the proposals, for agricultural land south of Low Road.

Part of the site borders Low Road, with 18 homes currently sharing the boundary.

The site is also just 120m from the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Residents said the scheme went against any attempts to preserve the character and identity of Halton and said it would “change the village forever”.

Others raised concerns about the village school capacity, the quality of life for residents and the lack of amenities to support the new properties.

The new properties will tower over existing houses and block views, another resident said, as well as increasing noise, privacy and traffic issues.

Halton ward councillor, Coun Paul Woodruff, spoke at Monday’s meeting against the proposals.

He said: “I agree with the concerns of the local residents.

“Greenfield sites are not for building on unless there’s absolutely no alternative.

“The parish council opposes the plan wholeheartedly.

“This is one of the few remaining green fields we have left.”

Coun Woodruff said a 200 name petition had been submitted to the city council.

He added: “We have had about 300 new properties in Halton in the last few years. This is a step too far.”

Halton resident Paul Hartley, who delivered the petition to the council, said: “It needs to be a sustainable development. Sixty homes is too much.”

Planning officers had recommended the plans be granted, saying the site was in a sustainable location and would provide an important contribution towards the district’s housing supply.

However, Coun Dave Brookes asked for the scheme to be refused, saying he was concerned about the impact on the character of the village.

He said: “I don’t believe you can put 60 houses there without adversely affecting the area.”

A split vote led to a second vote for the original recommendation of approval, which was again split with Coun Sherlock’s deciding vote swinging the vote in favour of the developers.