MORE than 60 jobs could leave Helsby as a major chemical firm considers its future.
Ineos Compounds, which employs 63 people, says it is looking at the possibility of relocating from the BICC site to its main base in Runcorn.
Helsby parish councillors, Mike Bellairs, Frank Thomas, Stuart Hulse and Betty Williams were informed of the company's plan at a meeting with site manager Steve Jones and commercial manager Steve Harrington.
Cllr Thomas told the council that with 103 new homes being built at the BICC site, and 34 apartments planned, the company feared it may not be welcomed by future residents.
'It would be an oasis of industry surrounded by residential development,' he said. 'We would obviously be worried about possible job losses.'
Cllr Thomas said he'd informed Anne Boyd at Frodsham Forward of the situation.
She said: 'If anything can be done to encourage them to stay locally we would do that.
'But sometimes, where there are opportunities for a business to grow, that may not be something good for our area.
'It's unlikely they would move
out of the region, so people could still travel to work.'
A spokeswoman for Ineos said: 'Ineos is continually reviewing its operations to maximise profitability and efficiency: the site at Helsby is no different.
'Ineos Compounds can confirm that it is currently reviewing a number of options for the Helsby operations, including possible relocation to the main Ineos site at Runcorn.
'However, at this stage, no firm decisions have been made.
'The company will continue to work closely with local residents to minimise the impact of operations.'
The spokeswoman said there were 'a number of reasons' for this review and 'would not cite the residential development as a specific reason.'
She added it was too early to comment on how it may effect jobs.