PROPERTY developer Peel L&P is aiming to speed up its plan to build a huge manufacturing and logistics hub at Haydock by seeking for the proposals to be included in a forthcoming public inquiry.

Two months ago the Star reported how the Secretary of State Robert Jenrick had ‘called in’ three other industrial schemes, including the propose regeneration of the former Parkside pit site in Newton-le-Willows.

Tritax Symmetry’s warehouse scheme in Wigan and a proposed development in Bolton were also scheduled for a public inquiry.

Property giant Peel, working with logistics developer PLP, submitted a planning application to St Helens Borough Council for the new manufacturing and logistics development, Haydock Point, in 2017 but a decision on the proposals has never been made.

The proposed site on agricultural land is close to Haydock Industrial Estate and Haydock Park Racecourse.

Located where the M6 meets the A580 East Lancashire Road and the A49 Lodge Lane, the junction is known for being a congestion hotspot at peak times and has been subject of safety campaigns by residents.

But the developer – which has vowed to fund £10 of improvements at junction 23 – says the scheme could lead to the creation of up to 2,500 jobs and generate an estimated £159m for the region’s economy every year.

Now Peel says, that in order to speed up the delivery of Haydock Point, it is pushing for plans to be included into the current public inquiry process.

Peel L&P says it will appeal the Haydock Point plans on the grounds of “non-determination” and seek to have the appeal heard at the same “conjoined” public inquiry with the neighbouring logistics schemes.

This would mean they could be considered together by the same inspector.

At the same time it also submitting a second, fresh planning application to the council.

Richard Knight, director of land and communities at Peel L&P, said: “Our proposals for new manufacturing and logistics at Haydock Point and associated highway improvement works on the network around Junction 23 will facilitate a major economic development that will support a wide range of jobs for local people and help secure supply chains for essential goods.

“However, at a time of economic uncertainty, we need to be accelerating the delivery of these jobs and multi-million-pound investment.

“The decision to call-in several logistic schemes has meant we have had to reconsider our options and, following legal advice, we have concluded that there is no alternative but to appeal for non-determination and resubmit a fresh application.

“Our absolute preference would be for our proposals to be determined locally by St Helens Council, as we strongly believe that this is the best way to ensure that the scheme for Haydock Point meets the employment aspirations of local people and delivers maximum benefits to St Helens.

“As such, we’ll continue to engage with officers and hope the plans can be considered locally in due course.”

Peel says that once built there would be a wide range of training and apprenticeship opportunities and £3.5 million Business Rates per annum, of which £1.75m would be retained in St Helens under current levels.

But there is opposition to further development in the Haydock area, particularly following the development on the Florida Farm site off the East Lancs, which created a storm of anger among opponents.

When a consultation took place after Peel's initial plans were submitted several years ago, negative comments focused mainly on how the road system would cope with the extra traffic, the development’s layout and the need to use green belt land.

After feedback from highways authorities, Peel announced in June this year it would pump an additional £10m plan for improvement works to Junction 23 of the M6 as part of the development.

It is claimed this would reduce waiting times and improve safety for local businesses and residents at the junction.

According to Peel, it would also help towards a “future wider improvement to the junction which St Helens Council and Highways England are seeking to bring forward”.