Anger as vil­lagers fear ‘ur­ban sprawl’ of homes de­vel­op­ment

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page -

A CAM­PAIGN group com­mit­ted to fight­ing the over-de­vel­op­ment of Rain­ford has la­belled the pro­posed Lo­cal Plan “ap­palling”.

Rain­ford Ac­tion Group (Rag) is call­ing on St He­lens Coun­cil and St He­lens North MP, Conor McGinn, to speak out against the pro­pos­als for thou­sands of homes and in­dus­trial units.

These pro­pos­als are an in­te­gral part of the pro­posed Lo­cal Plan, which maps out the fu­ture of the bor­ough un­til 2050.

But the group feels it will have an un­fair im­pact on Rain­ford and its res­i­dents.

West Lan­cashire Bor­ough Coun­cil will hold a six-week con­sul­ta­tion with res­i­dents and busi­nesses on its pro­pos­als next month and is obliged to con­sult neigh­bour­ing au­thor­i­ties when ma­jor de­vel­op­ments oc­cur near a bor­der.

Cam­paign­ers in the vil­lage say that the plans would raise mil­lions of pounds for the coun­cil but that none of it would be spent in Rain­ford, where much of the im­pact would be felt.

Rain­ford falls un­der St He­lens Coun­cil, which has sep­a­rate, highly con­tro­ver­sial plans to build at least 1,140 houses on pro­tected land in the vil­lage.

Ac­cord­ing to Rag, 2,000 of the pro­posed houses would be built on pro­tected land on the Rain­ford By­pass, close to the vil­lage cen­tre. The group also ar­gues that the amount of hous­ing is in ex­cess of the fore­cast need for the bor­ough.

Rain­ford Ac­tion Group chair James Wright, said: “The peo­ple of Rain­ford won’t be con­sulted on these plans to build two vil­lages and two in­dus­trial es­tates on their doorstep.

“But Rain­ford will be di­rectly im­pacted.

“Our roads, schools, and surg­eries will come un­der im­pos­si­ble strain if these houses are built. Yet any in­come gen­er­ated by these de­vel­op­ments will be spent else­where.

“It is to­tally un­ac­cept­able.

“These ap­palling plans would turn a ru­ral area into ur­ban sprawl.”

Conor McGinn MP

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