HUNDREDS of new properties in Rainford have been given the green light amid what has been described as a "massive" housing crisis in the borough.

The planning committee at St Helens Council made a decision on the application – which related to a site located on the corner of Higher Lane and Rookery Lane – at its meeting on Tuesday.

It proposed the erection of 307 dwellings with associated access, public open space, sustainable urban drainage systems and other infrastructure.

The dwellings would consist of a mix of detached, semi-detached, terraced and apartment properties.

Two vehicle accesses into the site would be provided off Higher Lane and Rookery Lane.

Councillor - 'there's a housing crisis'

During the meeting, Cllr Richard McCauley – who is the cabinet member for regeneration and planning – said "something seems to be missed in all of this" and that there is an "absolute housing crisis going on in this borough".

He also said "most people who object to new housing have already got a house and they don’t see, or don't choose to see, that housing crisis".

Cllr McCauley added that it is a "massive crisis" and that it is "easy to put your head in the sand and not look at it, but it’s there".

According to a report to the committee, the site measures 12.61 hectares in area and currently comprises agricultural land, along with an element of woodland close to the boundary with Higher Lane.

Split into two parts

It stated the site is split into two parts by an existing hedge running north to south through the site, the westernmost part of the site is "much bigger" with the hedgerow being located approximately 80 metres from the eastern site boundary, while both fields are in the ‘same use’.

This application had been advertised with neighbouring notification letters, and a site notice.

Hundreds of objections

At the time of preparing the report, 205 objection letters had been received as a result of the public consultation and the comments received, as summarised, include highways congestion and safety concerns, lack of public consultation and time period to respond, failure to comply with the Local Plan, noise impacts on new residents, and impact on the capacity of public services.

Meanwhile, two support letters have been received and some of the comments, as summarised, stated the proposal will bring much-needed housing at affordable prices for families wanting to move into the area, while noting that necessary infrastructure should be provided too.

The application was approved, subject to conditions and a legal agreement – with authority delegated to the head of planning to add, amend, or remove conditions as they deem necessary.