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Omega

Volume 451: debated on Monday 30 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she will make a decision on how the Government will proceed with the planning application for the Omega site. (97290)

[holding answer 26 October 2006]: The planning application referred to is for the development of part of a site known as Omega, situated in Warrington. It covers approximately 100 hectares and lies on either side of the M62 motorway. The application includes the provision of offices, light industry, warehousing and distribution facilities, and makes up the first two phases of the proposed development of the whole Omega site, which covers some 230 hectares in total. Warrington borough council resolved on 19 October that it was minded to approve the application, and in accordance with the terms of a Direction made under Article 14 of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995, the council has consulted the Secretary of State and sought her authorisation to grant planning permission for the application. A decision on how the Government will proceed (about whether it will call in the application for further public scrutiny and determination by the Secretary of State, or alternatively allow the council to determine the application itself) will be made in the near future.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the basis was for the issue by the Government office for the north west of an Article 14 direction preventing the determination by Warrington borough council of the planning application for the Omega site. (97291)

[holding answer 26 October 2006]: The planning application referred to is for the development of part of a site known as Omega, situated in Warrington. It covers approximately 100 hectares and lies on either side of the M62 motorway. The application includes the provision of offices, light industry, warehousing and distribution facilities, and makes up the first two phases of the proposed development of the whole Omega site, which covers some 230 hectares in total. Warrington borough council resolved on 19 October that it was minded to approve the application. The nature and scale of this proposal is such that it raises significant strategic planning and transport issues. They are of a type which require a decision to be made as to whether the application should be called-in for further public scrutiny and determination by the Secretary of State, or alternatively left with the council for determination. It was for this reason that a Direction was made under Article 14 of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995—the Direction requires the council not to grant permission for the application unless and until authorised by the Secretary of State.