Sutton Weaver

The village that wouldn't be swallowed

Runcorn new town was built to the east of the existing Runcorn old town in the 1960-70s. During its planning stage the new town was to include the village of Sutton Weaver. However, the village residents disapproved of the plan and went into action.

The following article appeared in the 'Daily Mail' newspaper on Wednesday 18th. March 1964.

"A Village celebrated last night after it won its fight against being swallowed by a giant new town".

It was to be part of a giant Liverpool overspill town with a 90,000 population planned for 7,250 acres around and including Runcorn.

The village is Sutton Weaver with a proud population of 600.

As soon as the new town plans were announced the 600 went into action.

They called in their M.P. but he withheld his support. They promptly disowned him by resigning en bloc from the local Tory association.
Forty local farmers set up a fighting fund to engage a solicitor to represent them at a three-day public inquiry into the new town plan.

Other village organisations went along and told the experts just what they thought of the plan.

Go-ahead

The result came yesterday when the Minister of Housing and Local Government, Sir Keith Joseph gave the go-ahead to the new town but excluded most of Sutton Weaver, a Cheshire beauty spot.

Sir Keith decided that there was plenty of land available for the scheme without involving the village.

Last night one of the women who led the fight, Mrs. Renee Cotgreave, said: "We are very pleased - we were determined to fight all the way to keep our beautiful village unspoiled by hordes of people."

Next step in the formation of the new town will be the establishment of a development corporation to be responsible for housing, services, and industrial development in the new town.

Runcorn, with a present population of about 26,000 stands on the south bank of the Mersey estuary.

It is linked with Liverpool via the £3 million Runcorn - Widnes road bridge, opened in 1961, and has good main road and rail services.
The new town will be 14 miles from the centre of Liverpool and four from the city boundary.

Initial target population will be 70,000, rising to 90,000 by natural increase.

Its main purpose will be to take the pressure off Liverpool, which faces a severe housing problem in the wake of mounting slum clearance.