WINSFORD residents and town councillors have hit out against a plan to build an apartment complex on New Road.

Damon Horrill, the town’s Co-Operative pioneer, told the Guardian that Winsford residents ‘put our faith and belief in the neighbourhood plan’ when it was introduced, and added he ‘thought that was the bible for development.’

Horrill, who is also a Labour town councillor, added: “People had to be exposed [to the proposals]. Most of these things happen without people knowing about it. Objections are the only bit of democracy we have available to use.”

Winsford Town Council has itself stated its support for affordable housing, but believes the plans go against the town’s neighbourhood plan so have lodged an objection. Concerns have also been raised over the parking provision at the site.

Town councillor David Ellis said: “If I could have what I wanted, it would be a lovely area for Winsford, with riverside walks, amenities, and cafes. They’re all the things that are invited by the riverside plan.”

Proposals show that a three-story building will be constructed, containing 27 affordable units within it as a second phase of development.

Phase one of the New Road work was approved in March, and building has started on 46 affordable homes next door to the site of phase two.

The Guardian understands that the matter should be discussed at CWAC’s next planning meeting on September 29, but has not been ‘called-in’ due to an existing agreement.

When the first half of the plan was approved, councillors sought to ensure any further proposals would face full committee scrutiny. As such, this condition renders any ‘call-in’ moves obsolete.

Horrill has been active online in hyper-local Facebook groups, encouraging residents to lodge comments on the application via CWAC’s website.

In all, 36 comments were submitted.

Additionally, he is part of the bid to list the site as an ‘asset of community value’ — which would give community members a six-month period to register their interest if the land owners decided to sell up.

In effect, this period hands the community a first refusal on the land, but if no deal can be agreed between the parties after six months, then the owners are free to sell to whoever they wish.