Warrington New Town

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It could only be a New Town.One of the North West's several New Towns is Warrington, a development that took place around an established town. The largest part of the development was Birchwood, to the north-east of the town, close to the M6 and M62.

This area was previously part rural and part derelict, having been a Royal Ordnance Factory. Having spent several decades as the largest unsold plot of land in Europe, the Government designated it part of the New Town development in 1968 and found that it's easier to sell several thousand small plots of land with houses on them than it is to sell one enormous plot full of peat bogs and derelict bunkers. The population of Warrington as a whole was planned to grow by 50,000.

These pages look at Birchwood and the A574 to explore the New Town development. They explore the things that survive from before the reconstruction; what the New Town development brought; what was supposed to happen but never did; and lastly, they look at the fine details of the New Town development to show how the same features are used again and again.

The old A574 The old A574

The original route of the A574 through Padgate and Birchwood, now a collection of suburban back roads and footpaths.

The new A574 The new A574

The A574 is now the arterial route through the New Town development, Birchwood Way. But it was never finished.

The Bigger Picture The Bigger Picture

Birchwood Way is only one part of a much bigger plan - see here what was meant to be.

Anatomy of a New Town Anatomy of a New Town

A large settlement that was planned and built all in one go - no wonder it has matching street furniture and copycat road layouts.


  1. Osborn, F. & Whittick, A., "New Towns" 3rd edition (1977).
  2. Warrington New Town Development Corporation, "Warrington New Town: Outline Plan".

With thanks to Keith Jones for information in this section.