Neighbouring council weighs in to Florida Farm row

MP Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party, pictured third from right, visits Haydock residents protesting on Liverpool Road, Haydock

MP Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party, pictured third from right, visits Haydock residents protesting on Liverpool Road, Haydock

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A neighbouring council has recommended that the controversial Florida Farm development should get the go-ahead.

Despite Wigan Council’s view of the plans, the final decision still rests with St Helens Council.

Protestors outside the Florida Farm site

Protestors outside the Florida Farm site

They will no doubt give more weight to the protests by residents in Haydock who have launched a campaign against the proposal.

That campaign has been given the support by Green Party leader Caroline Lucas.

The planning application will be considered by St Helens Council’s planning committee on a date yet to be confirmed.

But it is only 800 metres from the borough’s boundary with Golborne so the impact of the scheme is an agenda item for Tuesday’s meeting of Wigan Council’s planning committee.

Green Party leader Caroline Lucas at the Florida Farm site

Green Party leader Caroline Lucas at the Florida Farm site

A report prepared for councillors recommends that Wigan Council informs St Helens Council that it does not object to the proposed development.

The report concludes: “It is recommended that the council does not object to the planning application, as the proposal would have negligible impact on the borough and would provide significant new jobs in an area accessible to borough residents.”

The application seeks outline planning permission to erect two commercial buildings, along with infrastructure such as roads and footpaths, on the site on Slag Lane.

It also seeks full planning permission for a new access road to the A580 East Lancashire Road.

The plans have been met with anger from people living in the area and more than 1,700 objections have been received by St Helens Council.

They have the support of Green Party leader Caroline Lucas, who visited Haydock to meet campaigners.

Their concerns included loss of green belt land and the impact on traffic, residential amenity and wildlife.

But the report states that other than traffic impact, they are “localised issues” which do not affect Wigan.

The council’s traffic section raised no objections to the proposal, as the impact on traffic would be “negligible” and most traffic would be in St Helens.

The report also says the development would create 2,100 jobs, which would be “easily accessible” by Wigan residents.

The planning committee meets at 2pm on Tuesday at Wigan Town Hall.