NEW plans for nearly 100 homes on former green belt land which were previously refused have sparked objections from some residents.

The Star reported last year after Wain Homes had its controversial proposals for 99 houses on land west of Mill Lane, on the edge of Newton-le-Willows, refused by the council's planning committee.

Part of the proposed site has been removed from the green belt as part of the Local Plan but the northern part where an access and emergency link road was proposed remains safeguarded.

Planning officers said the original application, including for the access road was "in conflict” with planning policy and that the layout was “considered to be poor”.

It was said the plans had failed to “ensure satisfactory safe vehicle access” and to give “sufficient consideration of flood risk”.

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It adds the site "comprises a triangular-shaped field of arable grassland with trees and some planting along the western boundary".

The new application states that "in the emerging local plan, approximately 50 per cent of the site is identified as white land (the application site) and the remainder as safeguarded land". It was said following pre-application advice "the proposed dwellings are on the white land".

However, the statement adds that "the applicant has an overall masterplan vision for the site", which includes for up to 300 homes.

It adds that "the proposal would deliver 30 per cent affordable housing".

The application says  the scale of the proposed dwellings "is largely two-storeys and would be constructed in facing brick and roof tile" adding "this would reflect the character and appearance of the surrounding residential development".

It was added "the applicant accepts that the access to the site requires land designated as safeguarded land in the adopted local plan and that this access and road would not meet criteria 3 of Policy LPA05.

"However, that conflict is limited as there is no material planning harm from the approval of this application as it would not prejudice the delivery of the safeguarded land given that that land would require the same access point as the proposed application and the route of the revised access road enables options for a layout once the site is allocated through a subsequent plan review".

In the new plans, a design and access statement prepared by agents Emery Planning on behalf of applicant Wain Homes, said "this revised application has addressed the reasons for refusal for application dealing with highways, design, drainage, ecology, noise and air quality".

St Helens Star: The council planning committee refused a previous application for the site in 2022The council planning committee refused a previous application for the site in 2022 (Image: Stock)

The proposals have attracted several letters of objection from residents.

One said: "The previous application was refused as this land was safeguarded for future development, the land has not moved out of safeguarded land

"The council spent several years to develop the new plan, with several consultations, to arrive at the plan we have and this parcel of land is designated safeguard for future use".

Another added: "I would like to object to the proposed planning application listed above. The access road in and out of the development would be situated just before the bridge, which would means very limited visibility of cars traveling north bound over the bridge".

Another resident said: "The application intends to build permanent structures through safe-guarded land, as designated in the St Helens Borough Council Local Plan.

"To develop this land, which is marked as safe-guarded, sets a dangerous precedent for ignoring the Local Plan, and as such, should be rejected outright".

The new application is on standard consultation to the public until Tuesday, November 21.

A determination deadline has been set for January 24, 2024.