PLANS to build 91 homes have been given the green light - despite fears about the closeness of sites which could present a hazard to residents.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has withdrawn objections to the proposed development to the east of West Bank Street in Widnes.
At the latest meeting of the development control and licensing committee, councillors heard that risk levels from nearby COMAH (Control of Major Accident Hazards) installations are likely to be less than those specified in the Draft Unitary Development Plan.
The COMAH rules govern the use and storage of dangerous materials which could harm people and the environment.
A report said: 'There are sufficient reasons on safety grounds for advising against the granting of planning permission. Subsequently, it has, however, confirmed that it does not wish to have the application 'called in'.'
Five objection letters, including one from West Bank Community Forum, were handed to the council, along with three petitions which objected on grounds including loss of open space, increased crime, dust and related problem for young asthma sufferers in the area, increased traffic and loss of light.
Further complaints included potential for road congestion, lack of facilities, parking and play areas. Residents also slammed the proposals as having an overly dense layout and sub-standard design and not complying with council guidelines for housing developments.
Residents also fear an influx of new families will cause increase disturbance and nuisance, and many claim they were not consulted adequately about the proposals.
Further issues arising from the scheme include the fact the original planned homes would overlook consulting rooms in the West Bank Medical Centre, and the developer Bellway Homes Northern has said it will make alterations to the window layout to protect privacy.
Other issues include the site's proximity to a high-pressure gas main - and the coal authority has pointed to nearby coal reserves which could be worked in the future.
The site would have 97 two and three-storey homes, 57 of which would be apartments.