The dismissal by the Secretary of State of an appeal by Satnam Developments to develop a new residential neighbourhood at Peel Hall is the latest twist in the long running saga relating to this site which harks back to the 1990s and the first Warrington UPD.
The Secretary of State identified four main issues (in summary): impact upon the local and strategic highway network; impact upon the character of the area; impact upon air quality; and deliverability of the scheme. He rejected Satnam’s case on each issue. Of particular interest to the reader will be the approach taken by the Secretary of State to highways and air quality issues. In both cases he concluded that both the Transport Assessment and the Air Quality Impact Assessment submitted by Satnam were so flawed that a precautionary approach was merited. Satnam had argued that it was for Warrington to demonstrate severe harm in highway terms and adverse impacts on Air Quality. Warrington’s case was that it was not for the Council to carry out competent assessments for Satnam. The Secretary of State accepted his Inspector’s view that local conditions were already stressed so that there was a real risk of unacceptable harm and that Satnam’s submitted assessments did not negate the clear risk. The Inspector’s report gives clear pointers as to good practice in impact assessment preparation.
David Manley QC leading Piers Riley-Smith appeared for Warrington MBC.
Christopher Lockhart-Mummery QC appeared for Satnam Developments.
You can read the Inspector’s Report here, and Secretary of State’s Decision in full, here.