BRITISH Waterways has objected to plans for an urban village in Wincham.

In June, a planning application was submitted by Emery Planning Partnership, on behalf of Gladedale Estates Ltd and Russell Homes Ltd, for a mixed residential, commercial and recreational site.

It details a transformation of the land off New Warrington Road and Chapel Street to create 1,050 family homes and a new village centre, with shops, services, open space and small scale office accommodation.

But the body, which cares for 2,200 miles of the country's canals and rivers, has concerns about four aspects of the application.

In a statement in response to the proposals, British Waterways said that plans to link the urban village site with the Trent and Mersey Canal towpath - coupled with the creation of six new access points - would pose significant problems for the canal infrastructure.

“The towpath in this area has a grassed surface and is only of a standard intended for low scale pedestrian use,” the statement said.

“The additional usage would therefore reduce the quality of towpath to the detriment of all users over time, to the point where it will become unsuitable for existing users.”

The organisation suggests that mitigation measures might include a financial contribution and said that the stretch of towpath between Chapel Street and Manchester Road must be improved before the housing is occupied.

British Waterways added the application also ‘underplays’ the potential importance of the waterfront, both in providing a ‘sense of place’ for the area and acting as a link between the village centre.

It said the plans failed to meet policy requirements because the development did not therefore integrate with surroundings.

British Waterways raised concerns that the Flood Risk Assessment did not adequately address risks of flooding from the canal as required by policy procedures.

It also added that it would like clarification, as part of the Geo-Environmental assessment, that potential impacts on Wincham Brook and the Weaver Navigation, had been considered.

British Waterways said that it would remove the objections should its concerns be taken into account and mitigation measures put in place.

>WINCHAM residents will have the chance to voice their opinions about the urban village plans, on August 17.

The public meeting will be held at Wincham Community Centre and give residents the chance to talk to the developers, Emery and members of the village’s parish council.

It will start at 7.30pm.