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.

 

Fire Station on green belt in Saughall Massie – UPDATE

Following refusal of the planning application for a new fire station in Saughall Massie in December last year, the Chief Fire Officer, Dan Stephens is taking a report to the Fire Authority next Thursday 26th January recommending that the Authority give him permission to submit an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate as well as submitting a further planning application to Wirral Council.   You can read his report by clicking HERE 

It appears that the Chief Fire Officer is prepared to keep squandering public money in order to force this unwanted fire station on a community, who have made it abundantly clear that they don’t want it.   We will of course oppose any further attempts to build at this location.

The Fire Authority meeting starts at 1pm and is being held in the the Liverpool Suite at Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters, Bridle Road, Bootle L30 4YD.   The meeting is is open to the public, so if you want to attend you are very welcome to do so.

Sign this Petition to Help Protect the Elderly and Infirm!

SIGN OUR PETITION BY CLICKING HERE

On December 15th, 2016 Wirral Council refused planning permission for a fire station on green belt land on Saughall Massie Road, adjacent to sheltered accommodation at Woodpecker Close.

The application was refused for various reasons, one of which was to protect the amenity of those residents who live nearby in the sheltered accommodation in Woodpecker Close, one of whom is a D Day veteran who, I am told has also been awarded France’s highest military honour, The Legion de Honor.

In 2014 the Leader of the Council withdraw a brownfield site in Greasby to protect a much loved green space and the amenity of local residents.

I think it is only right that the Leader of the Council treats the residents of Saughall Massie fairly and equitably and withdraw this green belt land from any future development.    Withdrawing this land will also remove the stress, anxiety and worry from the elderly, and in some case infirm residents of Woodpecker Close.

Sadly the Leader of the Council has in an email response to me refused to withdraw the land, so please add you signature to our PETITION try to force him to change his mind.

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

image

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

image

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!

image

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