Fire Station Proposal in Green Belt, Thrown Out by Wirral’s Planning Committee by One Vote!

Last night Wirral’s Planning Committee threw out the application made by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service for a new Fire Station on green belt land in Saughall Massie on a vote of 7 to 6.

This was the culmination of a campaign that lasted 2 years and 6 days and is a victory for common sense and people power.

While me and my ward colleagues, Cllr Bruce Berry and Cllr Steve Williams led this campaign of opposition, it would have not been successful without the huge support given by local residents, the Saughall Massie Village Conservation Society and the Campaign for Rural England.   Thank you to everyone who helped, this is your victory.

The meeting, attended by around 150 residents heard arguments from all political parties on the merits of approval and refusal and in the end the vote split mainly down party lines with Labour mainly supportive of the application.

The debate took around 90 minutes culminating in two separate recommendations being proposed by West Kirby and Thurstaston Conservative Councillor, David Elderton.    The first recommendation was defeated by 7 votes to 6 with all 7 Labour members voting against the Conservative recommendation.

However the second recommendation was supported by 7 votes to 6, with Labours Chair of the committee having the courage of her convictions to protect residents who lived nearby and voting with the Conservatives, Liberal Democrat and Green Party members and the fire services application was refused

The reason for refusal is reproduced below along with the names of how Councillors voted.

“Having regards to location of the development proposed and the proximity to residential properties and the nature of the activities proposed, particularly with regards to the sudden and/or emergency nature of activities, together with the character of the local highway network, the Council considers that the proposal would result in harm to the visual amenities of the Green Belt, the character of the area and the amenities of neighbouring residents and the wider locality. Therefore, the development would be contrary to Policy GB2 of the Wirral Unitary Development Plan and the principles of the National Planning Policy Framework.”

Voting to REFUSE the fire Station:

David Elderton, Conservative, West Kirby and Thurstaston

Eddie Boult, Conservative, Hoylake and Meols

Kathy Hodson, Conservative, Heswall

Ian Lewis, Conservative, Wallasey

Stuart Kelly, Liberal Democrat, Oxton

Pat Cleary, Green, Birkenhead and Tranmere

Anita Leech, Labour (Chair) Leasowe and Moreton East.

 

Voting to ALLOW the fire station:

Steve Foulkes, Labour, Claughton

Treena Johnson, Labour, Leasowe and Moreton East

Joe Walsh, Labour, Bromborough

Irene Williams, Labour, Bromborough

Denise Realey, Labour, Prenton

Angela Davies, Labour, Prenton

 

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4 thoughts on “Fire Station Proposal in Green Belt, Thrown Out by Wirral’s Planning Committee by One Vote!

  1. Fantastic news and thank you for all your help and support in this campaign. As I told Councillor Williams I have voted Labour all my life but locally they have given no support whatsoever. I was disgusted to note above how little Labour think of the residents, elderly people and green belt land to all vote in favour. Thank you again for your help in getting this result.

  2. Thank you so much Chris for leading this successful campaign. Also, thank you sincerely to Councillor Leech who appeared to be the only Labour member to reflect its party’s values of protecting the old and vulnerable in society. She was the only one to show concern for how this would impact on the lives of the elderly and disabled residents living in the sheltered housing close by. Saughall Massie’s greenbelt is only 1.3 miles away from the existing, and fully functional, fire station in Upton. This site is not equidistant between Upton and West Kirby as the boundary line where Upton fire station ends and West Kirby fire station begins is Greasby Brook in Frankby.

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