Residents prepare for “David v Goliath” planning battle opposing …

LOCAL residents are stepping up their “David v Goliath” battle opposing renewed plans to extend the Trident Business Park at Risley.

They have formed the Risley Community Group and are lodging objections and seeking and paying for legal advice from experts.

While Birchwood Town Council have already lodged objections local residents have also linked up with Cllrs across Culcheth, Croft and Glazebury.They have met with developers St Modwen once last year and are still awaiting minutes from the meeting.A spokesperson for the group said: “The lack of communication has been an ongoing issue and they have been adamant that the operating hours are non-negotiable – even Christmas Day! Consultation has been woeful and very hit-and-miss.“We are very despondent at the moment. It really is akin to David and Goliath but this ridiculous application is wrong on every level and will truly set a precedent where these greedy developers can build simply because they own the land . St Modwen were bought out by an American Company as the original planning application in 2017 was to build offices which there would have been no objection to or better still housing. The assessments they have posted are either woefully inadequate or misleading or false …we have read every 1 ..all 27.”

Local residents and residents of neighbouring villages are strongly opposed to the latest development primarily because it is the wrong type of business in the wrong location.The spokesperson added: “They say that to house a 14-bay distribution centre that intends to operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year adjacent to a long-established residential area where there is an inadequate road infrastructure is totally unacceptable, especially when there are NO other businesses in the neighbouring Birchwood Park and Birchwood Science Park operating unrestricted hours 365 days a year, so this is totally out of keeping with the area and does not line up with Paragraphs 174 & 183 of the NPPF the National Planning Policy Framework which is the government’s policy on appropriate planning decisions.“The plans include 14 HGV loading bays, 26 HGV parking bays and parking for 120 vehicles. They also include the demolition of two perfectly good detached homes that are in an excellent state of repair when we are desperately in need of new homes. The further demolition of the former Noggin Public House, which may be a relief to some, but St Modwen bought this property, stripped it and have intentionally left it to rot to justify the demolition as part of the longer term plan. They will also uproot 7 Silver Birch & Oak trees that are subjected to Tree Preservation orders, although the application state for each of the 7 trees removed they will plant 7 in its place, however these will not be Oak or Silver Birch trees and nothing can replace or mitigate 40 plus years of growth and maturity.“Considering the wider community, this site if we are being extremely generous and work on each HGV taking 90 minutes to turnaround will generate 484 HGV movements every 24 hours. At the industry optimum and a worst case scenario it would be over 1000 HGV movement per 24 hours (this is accounting for HGVs arriving and departing). Add to that auxiliary vehicles and you begin to see the traffic implications. If the proposed housing developments of 500 homes in Culcheth, 98 in Croft and 176 in Winwick go ahead this will add further congestion and pollution, when we already have some of the worst air quality in the country.“For the immediate residents of Warrington Road and Cross South this 24-7-365-a-day will put paid to the relative peace and quiet we currently enjoy during evenings, weekends and public holidays. The service yard will be floodlit and the light pollution will impact sleep and sleep deprivation will subsequently impact the mental well-being of residents. The noise of HGVs movements and their reversing beepers, forklift trucks and their beepers, cars and the noise of drivers enjoying some downtime, will carry through the dead of night. There will be no respite and no escape, which will further impact the mental well-being of residents and their right to a certain quality of life in their own homes.“The latest amendment to the plans include, a further reduction in height of 1.5 metres equating to a total reduction of 2.5 metres, but this is a reduction in the “roof haunch” and internal measurement and not indicative of the finished external height. In addition to the original landscaping they propose to introduce 106 mature trees, these will be spread around Trinity Way, the car park area which is situated close to the Spar roundabout, behind Risley Autos and a larger areas where the Noggin and two detached houses will be demolished. This is woefully insufficient mature tree’s for that area.

One of many objectors includes former Culcheth & Glazebury councillor Jacquie Johnson who said: “This proposal will adversely affect the amenity of residents both nearby and along local roads due to its size, position and the traffic generated.”Her objection highlighted the following.Warrington Submitted Version Local Plan (SVLP)This shows the existing employment land and main urban area in Birchwood.The New Town Development was typified by trees, bushes and grassed areas keeping employment and housing apart. The gap between the proposed large buildings is not enough to minimise the impact of the height, size and the amount of lorry journeys generated on residents.

Note that in SVLP DEV4, proposals within existing employment areas, point 11 says that“Subject to assessments of local transport networks, major warehousing and distribution developments will be primarily directed towards preferred locations at:Appleton and Stretton trading estates, Omega, Woolston Grange and Fiddlers Ferry Power station”Point 11 says that outside of these areas proposals should seek to locate development “ away from areas sensitive to heavy vehicle movements.”

“Traffic from Birchwood was intended to use J11 on the M62 to access the motorway system via M62 motorway and those connecting with it. These motorways are now frequently congested, blocked or being resurfaced. They cannot take more traffic indefinitely. Similarly the local road system is affected by vehicles avoiding motorways.There needs to be an assessment of the number of lorries already operating from sites in Birchwood and Warrington North. This of course is difficult given that lorry licensing is not under the control of Warrington Borough Council but the Traffic Commissioner at Hillcrest House in Leeds. Also through traffic has to be assessed.

“The consultation on draft modifications to the submitted Local Plan which was subject to an Inquiry last year. Through out the examination the Borough Council has maintained its view that it is not possible or appropriate to establish a direct link between the employment land requirement and jobs growth forecasts. It has also maintained its view that there is not a direct relationship between the employment land and housing requirements. The Inquiry Inspectors have reduced the employment land requirement.“To “work for all” Warrington needs to minimise the impact on residents by rejecting development proposals which are not appropriate for the area. I understand Trident originally had more appropriate development.Warrington Road, North of the roundabout with Daten Avenue, is one of the gateways into Birchwood and should be an asset. Whatever new tree planting is proposed, it cannot be instead of existing trees but in addition. The Noggin Inn, even if converted to business use, could have been part of this street scene rather than the large buildings.”

Town council and residents team up to fight proposed Trident Business Park development[1]


  1. ^ Town council and residents team up to fight proposed Trident Business Park development (

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