Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick has called in yet another big sheds scheme in the North West.
Plans for an 850,000 sq ft plus Home Bargains warehouse on green belt land in Bold as part of the Omega development were called in just before Christmas.
Planning permission had been granted by St Helens Council’s planning committee in October.
The application sought full planning permission for the creation of an 829,725 sq ft logistics warehouse, referred to as Unit 1, with 48,287 sq ft of ancillary office development.
The applicant also sought outline planning permission for a combination of manufacturing and logistics to the remaining application site with the whole development totaling 2.2 million sq ft on land to the west of Omega South.
The land is greenbelt and also falls within the Bold Forest Area Action Plan boundary and will result in a permanent loss of woodland and trees.
The Secretary of State has called in four other scheme in the North West in the past year and has already refused the first in November: Liberty Property and Eddie Stobart’s 630,000 sq ft NDC which had been given the green light by Warrington Council earlierin 2020.
The three other schemes include Tritax’s Symmetry’s 1.44 million sq ft warehouse scheme Symmetry Park Wigan; Langtree and St Helens Council’s proposed 1 million sq ft regeneration of the 230-acre former Parkside colliery site in Newton-le-Willows and Harworth Group’s 1 million sq ft Wingates scheme in Bolton.
In all cases the local councils had granted planning permission for the developments.
The North West currently has less than one year’s supply with just one building over 300,000 sq ft available – the former Sports Direct unit in Wigan.
In the original application Omega St Helens/T.J. Morris Limited, invoked ‘very special circumstances’ applied to the scheme because of the huge economic benefits it would bring to the region.