Rainhill and Eccleston Park Green Belt land, image:change.org
At a meeting of the “Residents Against The Development Of Greenbelt Land in Rainhill, local people discussed issues and campaigns on how to stop the redevelopment of greenbelt land in the area.
They have had three demonstrations at the Town Hall for the whole borough. These have been on Planning Committee nights. There are groups in all the wards of the borough fighting all the areas individually as the different wards all have different conditions.
The Planning Department at St Helens Council received 6,500 objections to the plan. Each of these has to be checked one by one by staff. The council had been surprised at the level of objections. The observation stage has been put back from August to mid to late Autumn because of the number of objections.
The key pieces of evidence of the objections will be given to the planning officers and councillors. There will be then a reviewed plan and this may be put out for comments.
There was a feeling that Rainhill had been targeted as a place to make a commuter town with large expensive houses built by developers, as apposed to reasonably priced housing.
A resident of Rainhill for over forty years shed some light on why a development plan is needed.
“It is needed by the government, and has been in effect since 1949 Town and Country Planning Act. Boroughs need to plan to go forward, the plan is evaluated and is based on projections.”
Councillor Steve Glover who attended the meeting said that the council had not used green belt land for 35 years for building they had defended it for that length of time. But around 570 houses per year need to be built.