MORE than 300 new homes could be built on former Cheshire Greenbelt land in what would be the planned fourth new estate.

Developer Miller Homes has submitted a planning application for 317 properties on 32 acres of land north of Lunt’s Heath Road, Widnes.

This is the fourth such application to be submitted for the region’s former greenbelt by various developers since councilors voted on a new Local Delivery and Allocation Plan (DALP) in March.

The updated DALP – a document that sets out Halton’s planning priorities through 2037 – has removed green belt protections and reserved areas for residential use.

If all four estates were given the green light, it would mean an additional 909 homes would be added to the area over the next few years.

According to the new plans, there would be 12 one-bedroom, 18 two-bed, 157 three-bed and 130 four-bed houses. A total of 20% (63) would be classified as “affordable” thanks to a mix of condominium and affordable rent.

There would be two access points from Lunt’s Heath Road and plans include retaining Bower’s Brook to create what the developers called a central ‘green corridor’ through the new estate.

In planning documents, Miller Homes said it had submitted a number of representations to the DALP over the past few years while it was in production through the formal consultation process.

He said representations had been submitted on why the area should be freed from the green belt – a buffer zone designed to protect against urban sprawl.

The site was reintroduced to the DALP in August 2019, at which time Miller confirmed his interest.

The company’s planning statement estimates it would take around five years to build and add £45m to the local economy and £538,000 a year to the council’s tax revenue.

A design and access statement submitted in support of the program, said: “It is in a sustainable location and well served by access to education, health, employment, retail trade and other services.

He added: “The proposal includes a range of mixed-regime house types to meet local policies and housing needs. It allows a wide range of users and residents to live in a safe and secure environment.

Halton council leader Cllr Mike Wharton told members last December that the authority was facing “tough decisions” over the greenbelt because there was not enough brownfield – land that had already been developed – to meet the borough’s future housing needs.