Fire Station in Saughall Massie – The fight goes on

Following Wirral’s planning committee refusing the application for a fire station on Saughall Massie Road, the Fire Authority met yesterday to decide what to do next.   Along with my colleague Cllr Bruce Berry and Les Spencer, Chair of the Saughall Massie Village Conservation Area I attended the meeting.

One of the Labour members on the Authority called local residents ‘Snobs’ for opposing the first application and suggested that Saughall Massie residents are only interested in their house values and the Chair of the Authority said the way Wirral Council behaved was despicable, and he suggested that all those Councillors who spoke against this application and voted against should hang their heads in shame.   After they had finished insulting residents, Councillors and the Council, the Authority resolved to submit an amended planning application in the next few weeks, as well as considering an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, and consider requesting that the Council pays the costs.

Clearly we need to continue to oppose this attack on our green belt and the amenity of local residents, particularly those who are elderly and infirm who live in the nearby sheltered housing in Woodpecker Close and on Saughall Massie Road and to that end we have set up an online petition which can be accessed HERE   You can also help by clicking HERE and printing off a hard copy petition, collect as many signatures as you can and return it to me, Bruce or Steve at our home addresses. Alternatively you may want to return petitions to me, Steve and Bruce between 11am and 11:30am on Sunday 19th February when we will be outside the Willows Pub on Saughall Massie Road.

As soon as the planning application is submitted we will let people know.  In the meantime please sign the petition and ask your friends to do so to.  Sadly we have to fight this all over again.

 

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Woodland behind Paulsfield Drive

I discovered yesterday that a developer was showing an interest to build houses on a part of the woodland  (classed as Urban Green Space) that lies behind Paulsfield Drive.

Today I spoke with Wirrals Planning Department to see if any pre-application advice had been sought.   The answer was yes and I was sent a copy of the proposal which showed a proposal for 12 semi detached homes.  you can view that proposal HERE .   I was also sent a copy of the pre-planning advice response from the Planning Department which can be read HERE.

As you will read the planner’s advice is that development on this site is highly unlikely to be granted planning permission.     I will be keeping a watching eye on the planning website an if by chance an application is submitted I will ensure everyone who lives in the area is informed, as well as the wider community.

 

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

 

FIRE STATION – TODAY IS DECISION DAY

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Today we have ONE final opportunity to convince the Planning Committee to throw this application out, that opportunity is at 6pm this evening at Wallasey Town Hall when they will give its verdict on the application.

We need one last HUGE turnout of residents to reinforce our message. Please come along and let’s make this a night we can all be proud of, let’s make this the night when we win. Remember, together we are stronger.

Please don’t leave it to others to attend they may be leaving it to you.

Fire Station – Decision Day Tomorrow, Thursday 15th December

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So after two years and 6 days of opposing this attack on our green belt, tomorrow, Thursday 15th December Wirral’s Planning Committee will make a decision to say Yes or No to the fire station.

This piece of land was offered up to the fire service for consideration on the 9th December, 2014 after the Labour Leader of the Council withdrew the land at Greasby.

For the last two years we have fought this at every stage, during consultation, at Council meetings, through letters and leaflets, you name it we have done it.

Yesterday, when the Planning Committee visited the site they were given a very strong and clear message by over 200 people, and that message was ‘Hands off our green belt’

We have ONE final opportunity to convince the Planning Committee to throw this application out, that opportunity is at 6pm this Thursday 15th December at Wallasey Town Hall when they will give its verdict on the application.

We need one last HUGE turnout of residents to reinforce our message. Please come along and let’s make this a night we can all be proud of, let’s make this the night when we win.  Remember, together we are stronger.

Please don’t leave it to others to attend they may be leaving it to you.

Last Chance to Stop the Fire Station!

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This week will see the culmination of the proposal made by the Fire Authority to build a Fire Station on green belt land in Saughall Massie and whether our opposition has been enough to stop it

We have TWO FINAL opportunities to influence the planning committee’s decision and it is very important that we have a massive turnout of residents on both dates in order to demonstrate our strength of opposition.

The FIRST opportunity will be on TUESDAY 13th DECEMBER when the planning committee will visit the site at 11:10am and the public can attend. I, along with Cllr Blakeley and Cllr Williams will be at the site from 10:50am if anyone has any questions.

THEN ON THURSDAY 15th DECEMBER THE PLANNING COMMITTEE WILL MEET AT WALLASEY TOWN HALL AT 6pm TO MAKE ITS FINAL DECISION ON WHETHER TO APPROVE OR REFUSE THE APPLICATION. THE MEETING IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AND GIVEN THE PUBLIC INTEREST THE MEETING WILL BE HELD IN THE MUCH LARGER CIVIC HALL AT THE TOWN HALL.

The decision whether to approve or refuse this plan will be taken by the 13 Councillors from all four political parties in Wirral who make up the Planning Committee. The Committee is chaired by a Labour Councillor from Leasowe.

I, along with my colleagues, Cllr Chris Blakeley and Cllr Steve Williams will be at the meeting and a HUGE TURNOUT OF RESIDENTS CAN INFLUENCE THE COMMITTEE AND WILL ALSO HELP SEND A VERY CLEAR MESSAGE. That message is simply “Hands off Our Green Belt”

This is our VERY LAST opportunity to have this application thrown out, so please don’t leave it to others to attend, after all they may be leaving it to you

Diamond Farm – More Green Belt Under Threat

diamond-farm-2A planning application has been submitted for a residential development and conversion of existing barns on green belt land at Diamond Farm, Saughall Road, Saughall Massie Village CH46 5ND (App/16/01334).   You can view the plans by clicking HERE

We understand that the existing barns are to be diamond-farm-1converted to 6 dwellings with a further 10 new homes being built within the curtilage of the existing farm buildings, a total of 16 new homes, while retaining the existing farm house.

If you wish to object to this application you can do so online at: http://bit.ly/2fLv0zQ or by emailing the Planning Department: planningapplications@wirral.gov.uk or by writing to them at Wallasey Town Hall, Brighton Street, Wallasey CH44 8ED.  Ensure you quote the application number in any correspondence.  All representations must be submitted by 31st December, 2016.

UPDATE 17th February 2017.   Application refused.   You can read the decision notice by clicking  HERE