Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News

Battle rages over builders ‘cashing in’ on green space

- BY MARK SMITH

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CAMPAIGNER­S have vowed to continue their fight against revived plans to build a massive housing estate on a Widnes golf course.

It was reported recently how Anwyl Homes had lodged a fresh applicatio­n to build more than 230 homes on Widnes Golf Club’s course, a move that would reduce the size of the course from 18 to nine holes. The club said the scheme was vital to its future financial security.

The original plans had been defeated in March following a campaign led by local counsellor Andrea Wall, with a petition opposing the scheme attracting more than 2,000 signatures.

But the company has now submitted a revised planning applicatio­n with some changes which it hopes will see it approved by planning chiefs.

As with the original applicatio­n, the club’s existing 18-hole course would be replaced with a new nine-hole course, new clubhouse and green-keeping facilities, but the number of proposed homes would reduce from 249 to 233.

There would also be additional green space, more trees planted, changes to the proposed access, including removal of a cul de sac access and all main access now taken from two junctions off Liverpool Road, along with improved footpath/ cycle links through the site.

But Cllr Wall, who represents the Highfield ward, has lodged a formal objection citing concerns over loss of green space, lack of local infrastruc­ture such as school places and GP surgeries, as well as increased traffic.

She told the Weekly News: “A reduction of 16 houses from the previous applicatio­n does not in any way, shape or form address the fact that the roads surroundin­g the golf course are already at capacity.

“Those roads cannot safely take any more traffic and the plans still represent a completely unacceptab­le loss of green space in Widnes.”

Cllr Wall said she was ‘sick’ of developers trying to ‘cash in’ on green space in the town.

She added: “This applicatio­n is purely about making money – to the detriment of local people that live around the course and across Widnes.

“It is more social and affordable housing that we need, built on brownfield land to address our local housing need, not more houses that are £200,000 plus and are out of reach of many local families.”

Anwyl Homes comment.

The plans can be viewed and commented on the Halton Borough Council planning website. declined to

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 ??  ?? ● Above, an artist’s impression of the homes which Anwyl wants to build on part of Widnes Golf Club’s course; left, the club entrance
● Above, an artist’s impression of the homes which Anwyl wants to build on part of Widnes Golf Club’s course; left, the club entrance

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