Dismay at plan to build houses near incinerator
ABID to build 144 houses opposite the UK’s largest waste incinerator has sparked disblief among residents in Runcorn.
Gleeson Homes has now filed plans to develop land including fields at Pavilions on Sandy Lane in Weston Point.
The Weekly News reported three weeks ago that the Sheffield-based developer had been canvassing public opinion and posting flyers about the proposals and the developer has now lodged a full application.
As part of its neighbourhood engagement statement, compiled from canvassing carried out by Liverpool-based Influential communications, the firm has published a list of responses from residents, some of whom warned the company to take into account the site’s proximity to heavy industry.
One person said the area is ‘surrounded by chemical works’ and the residents suffer from living with smells, noise, steam, dust, flies and other issues.
Another urged Gleeson to realise the land is ‘ seconds away from Europe’s largest energy-from-waste incinerator’.
They also told the firm to consider how parking would be provided for fans visiting to watch Runcorn Town FC.
A motorist from the area said Halton Borough Council had refused it permission to build a driveway on their front garden because it was classed as greenspace so it ‘begged the question’ how they could receive permission to build houses on fields.
Concerns about increased traffic and the loss of privacy were also reported.
Gleeson Homes has said Runcorn Town Football Club’s pitch and two bowling greens will spared the axe under a lease agreement it the plans go ahead.
It said these facilities will be improved as part of the development project.
A design statement submitted with the plans said the residential site covers 11.42 acres but the full site including the sports facilities measures 16.48 acres in size.
The proposed properties will be a mix of two, three and four-bed terraced, semi-detached and detached housing.
Pavilions is accessed from Sandy Lane in Weston Point and has a long border with Picow Farm Road, on the other side of which stands the Viridor-operated energy-from-waste incinerator.
An air quality assessment said nitrogen dioxide air pollution levels are within the legal 40 micrograms per cubic metre.
It said wind direction is primarily from the North West heading inland.
Residents’ reaction has been mixed with some relieved that rumours that the land could be turned into an incinerator lorry park appear to have been unfounded.
Pavilions, which promotes itself on its website as ‘Runcorn’s number one venue’, has a ballroom, lounge, bar, Weston Room function room and can host weddings.
Neighbourhood groups and sports clubs also use the facilities.
One of the residents who commented on the proposals said: “I think it is crazy to build so near to the Ineos incinerator which we have against.
“My home has lost about £20,000 in value since the incinerator has been built.
“Your new homes on the site of the old ICI Rec couldn’t be nearer to this monstrosity.”
Gleeson said it has considered all of the factors in drawing up the proposals.
In the conclusion to its design statement it said: “Whilst relating to its environment with care and responsiveness to the circumstances to be found around its boundaries, this development makes maximum use of the site in all campaigned ● terms of development potential and architectural form.”
Public consultation is open until October 19 with Halton Borough Council aiming to decide the matter by December 26.
Pavilions on Sandy Lane in Runcorn