Opposition councillors urge residents to have their say on St Helens Local Plan

A number of drop-in events will take place throughout February
A number of drop-in events will take place throughout February
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Opposition councillors have urged residents to comment on the St Helens Local Plan one last time.

An eight-week publication period on the St Helens Local Plan submission draft is currently open and is due to close on March 13.

While not an official public consultation, this is the last time members of the public will be able to officially comment on the Local Plan before it is submitted to be examined by a government planning inspector.

A number of drop-in events will take place throughout February to allow members of the public to view and make official representations on the plan.

A drop-in event is due to take place in St Julie’s Church Hall in Eccleston on Monday, February 18, from 2pm to 6.30pm.

Eccleston councillor Teresa Sims, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, encouraged residents to use this last opportunity to comment on the plan.

Coun Sims said: “We would urge all residents that have an interest in the Local Plan to make their representations during the publication period, as this is the last chance to have their say on the contents of the plan before it is submitted to the independent planning inspector.”

She added: “It remains the view of the Liberal Democrat group that a brownfield first approach must be fully adopted, and that there should be no development on green belt land until every available brownfield site has been identified and built upon.

“This includes any contaminated land, which we feel should be cleaned up and paid for entirely by those developers and house builders that have land interests within the borough”.

A drop-in event is due to take place in Rainford Village Hall on Thursday, February 28, from 2pm to 6.30pm.

Conservative leader Allan Jones said Rainford councillors remain opposed to the current version of the Local Plan as they believe it will damage the farming industry.

Coun Jones said: “The main aim of the Local Plan is to promote industry and create jobs.

“This will damage our industry of farming in Rainford and could very well lost jobs.”

Independent councillor James Tasker, ward member for Rainhill, also urged residents to submit comments over the coming weeks.

A drop-in event took place at St Ann’s Millennium Centre in Rainhill last week, although a representations form can be completed online.
Coun Tasker said: “I wasn’t elected when the Local Plan was being put together but I, along with thousands of other residents in Rainhill and across St Helens, made our feelings known.

“Whilst we have this period to comment on the final draft of the plan, I would urge all residents to submit their comments.”

Paper copies of the representations form can also be obtained from the council offices and libraries within the borough.

For more information visit sthelens.gov.uk/localplan