MEMBERS of the public are being urged to have their say on plans to create a massive solar park in Winnington.

Earlier this summer, proposals were submitted to Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) to turn Wallerscote lime beds into a commercial solar array.

The joint project, by Infinis Solar Developments, Green Earth Developments and Tata Chemicals Europe, would see clean energy exported to the local grid, generating enough power to meet the electricity needs of 6,500 homes.

But concerns have been raised over the number of daily HGV journeys needed during Wallerscote Solar Park's construction phase and the 'intolerable traffic burden' it would place on the area.

A public consultation on the plans, currently underway, has been extended to the end of October and CWAC councillors Felicity Davies and Arthur Neil are urging residents to share their thoughts.

Northwich Guardian: Wallerscote lime bedsWallerscote lime beds (Image: Tata Chemicals Europe)

The councillors, who represent Winnington and Castle, said: "We want to let residents know we met with the planning officer to relay concerns regarding the solar farm development at Wallerscote.

"While we are attracted to the prospect of green energy and the remediation of the lime beds, we are strongly concerned around the vehicular movements associated with this development.

"We are apprehensive as to whether the road network can withstand the pressures, particularly the threat to Winnington Bridge.

"During our meeting we were informed the council is awaiting responses from statutory and expert consultees, including highways.

"We are delighted the public consultation period has been extended to October 30 and urge residents to comment with their concerns.

"Please go to the planning portal using the reference 23/02766/FUL or if you experience problems email"

The 138-acre former lime waste disposal site is brownfield land owned by Tata, which said the development would also 'preserve rare grassland habitats' and create structured public footpaths with views of the Weaver.

A statement posted on a website set up by the applicants, said: "This project will contribute significantly towards the UK’s efforts for decarbonisation and security of energy supplies.

"The proposed development provides the opportunity to retain, increase and manage as much of the biodiverse rich grassland as possible and provide significant ecological enhancement when compared to the site if left to naturally colonise."

No date has yet been set for a decision.