BUILDING has finally started on the long-heralded Winnington Urban Village development.

A total of 1,200 homes are planned for the site and children from Winnington Park Community Primary School and Nursery helped make a start on the first 22.

A number of developers, called the Winnington Urban Village Consortium (WUVC), are involved in the scheme, including David Wilson Homes, Barratt Homes, Morris Homes and Taylor Wimpey.

The completed site will include leisure and retail facilities as well as 1,200 houses.

Morris Homes is responsible for building 400 homes at the development and is beginning with Bridgewater Park.

This first phase will see the construction of 22 homes, a mix of three and four bedroom mews, semi detached and detached properties.

The company is keen to involve Winnington schoolchildren throughout the build by providing talks on the building industry and inviting them back to see the different stages of the build in progress.

Dave Hesson, regional managing director for Morris Homes, said: “We are building a brand new community at Bridgewater Park and it’s important to us that we involve local people in the building process from the very beginning.

“It was great that pupils were able to join us to mark the groundbreaking and we’re looking forward to showing them how the site develops in the coming months.”

The site will be open to visitors within the next two weeks.

  • Plans for the urban village have a long and tangled history.

Proposals were initially revealed by Brunner Mond in 2000 and originally included 700 homes and a waste tip on its Wallerscote Works site.

The waste tip was scrapped in 2001, the number of homes increased to 1,075 and leisure and retail included in the plans, which were approved by the former Vale Royal Borough Council.

But the outline plans were thrown out by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister after a public inquiry in 2004.

Two years later, an inspector’s report into Vale Royal Borough Council’s Local Plan stated that the the urban village would deliver significant benefits and recommended it be built.

Plans were finally approved in 2008 but then they were hit by delays caused by local government reorganisation and the credit crunch.

More detailed plans were revealed to the public in 2012 and include three areas of land – Wallerscote Island, land south of the River Weaver and land east of Winnington Avenue.

Officers for Cheshire West and Chester Council have been working with the consortium on the conditions for planning consent and final approval came through on Wednesday, April 17.