Campaigners welcome homes plan

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Plans to build 58 new homes on brownfield land in Rainford have been "warmly welcomed" by a group campaigning to protect green belt land in the village.

Rainford Action Group says the proposal to build an estate of 58 semi-detached homes on a piece of former industrial land is "exactly the

kind of development the village needs".

Developers want to build the new housing estate on land close to Lords Fold. The land was previously an industrial estate but is now largely derelict.

It's next to a green belt site the council has earmarked for development.

The group says the brownfield plans should go ahead and the neighbouring green belt site should be removed from all development plans.

Developers Seddon held a consultation event in the village earlier this month. Campaigners say apart from some assurances needed about road safety and site access, the response locally has been broadly supportive.

The plans will be put before St Helens Council soon and campaigners say planning permission should be granted as a "sensible and sustainable" alternative to building on Rainford's green belt.

St Helens Council included proposals to build at least 1,140 houses on Rainford's green belt in its hugely controversial Local Plan.

The Local Plan was met with fierce opposition from local people who said Rainford could not cope with expansion on such a scale and were angered by the loss of so much green space, which is currently productive farm land.

James Wright, chairman of Rainford Action Group, said: "We warmly welcome these new plans. We've been quite clear throughout this process that we are not against development in Rainford as long as it is in the right location and on a reasonable scale.

"Having looked at the plans for this site at Lords Fold, and given it is o brownfield land, we believe this is a sensible and sustainable alternative to building houses on the green belt.

"This is exactly the kind of development Rainford needs. The council now must show it is serious about having a brownfield first policy and reduce green belt development as a result.