PLANS to breathe life into derelict land on the banks of the Mersey with a leisure complex are to be considered by Halton's planning committee.

Members of the development control committee are to hear on March 14 that the Venture Fields site in Widnes is completely vacant and has no street patterns, so the design and layout of the complex will begin from scratch.

The scheme will include an ice rink, a Laser Quest, restaurants, a climbing wall, a cinema, a bowling alley, bingo and some specialist shops.

Widnes Regeneration, a company formed between the council and St Modwen, is behind the scheme.

A report said the development would not have much effect on trade in Widnes town centre and Runcorn Old Town.

Members will hear that ground contamination investigations have been carried out and pollution identified but a condition requiring further surveys and land remediation work could be imposed as a condition.

Planners consider the proposed 705 car spaces inadequate and fear public transport access will be difficult because Ashley Way acts as a barrier between the site and Widnes town centre.

But planning chiefs have suggested bus stops be set up around the site.

A report to the committee said: 'The proposal is a flagship development for the borough and will complement further the redevelopment of the Windmill Centre.

'The proposal will enhance the image of the area and boost confidence for further investment'.

Members look likely to approve the outline plans, subject to 30 conditions.