Two planning applications relating to the regeneration of the former Parkside Colliery in Newton-le-Willows have been approved.
St Helens Council’s planning committee heard the applications at a packed-out town hall during a meeting that lasted more than five hours on Tuesday night.
The first application sought outline planning permission for the construction of up to 92,900 m2 of employment floor space at the Parkside site, for storage and distribution purposes, along with ancillary offices and associated servicing and infrastructure.
Parkside Regeneration LLP, a joint venture between commercial developers Langtree and St Helens Council, originally submitted plans for the site in January 2018.
A second application, brought by St Helens Council, sought permission for full planning permission to build a single carriageway road that would link the A49 Winwick Road to the A579 Winwick Lane, enabling access to Junction 22 of the M6.
Both applications are in green belt land but the applicants argued that “very special circumstances” outweighed any harm caused by the developments.
The applicant has estimated the development of the Parkside site would provide 457 full time equivalent jobs during construction and 1,330 gross (930 net) jobs during operation.
Coun Richard McCauley, cabinet member for economic regeneration and housing, said the potential the Parkside link road scheme can unleash is “phenomenal”.
Several members of the public spoke out against the applications during the meeting.
Liberal Democrat Newton councillor David Smith also spoke against both applications during the public speaker’s section of the meeting.
Coun Smith said the link road will have a “great detrimental effect” across Newton-le-Willows and urged the planning committee to reject both planning applications.
Outline planning permission was granted to the first application subject to the secretary of state not intervening. It was also subject to numerous conditions and a section 106 agreement.
A reserved matters planning application will be submitted at a later date.
Planning permission for the Parkside link road was also approved subject to the secretary of state not intervening and subject to numerous conditions.
All opposition councillors on the committee voted against both applications.