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.

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Live in New Brighton, Moreton, West Kirby, Heswall, Liscard, Bromborough, Bebington, Upton or Irby? – Will you be paying to park outside your house?

Last night I attended a Council Business Scrutiny workshop.   One of the items, and perhaps the most emotive was the proposals to increase the Council’s income by increasing car parking charges by 50p per hour at existing Council car parks and to introduce further car parking charges, on street and off street at nine locations across the Borough, as well imposing a £4.00 per day fixed charge at Wirrals Country Parks.

While I am waiting for further detail the hit list for the nine locations for introducing car parking charges is: New Brighton (including Fort Perch Rock), Moreton, West Kirby, Hoylake, Heswall, Liscard, Bromborough, Bebington, Upton and Irby.    The charges are likely to apply to many on street areas in our towns, so a an example in Moreton the two car parks, Holt Avenue and Garden Lane as well as on street charges on Hoylake Road, Upton Road, Pasture Road etc.    In West Kirby, along the promenade, The Crescent, Grange Road, Banks Road and side roads, In Hoylake on Market Street and the side roads etc; and so it goes on in other towns.

The Country Parks include, Wirral Country Park, Royden Park, Arrowe Park, Eastham Country Park etc and at £4.00 per day that is going to disadvantage thousands of people who simply want to visit for an hour or so, perhaps dog walkers etc.

I am aware that New Brighton resident, Darren May had the foresight to see this coming and last week started an online petition opposing the introduction of parking charges in New Brighton.   I would urge people to sign that petition ASAP and it can be accessed by clicking HERE.

I am sure other people will also be setting up petitions and you may want to sign them as well.

One thing is for certain we need to send a very strong message to this Labour-led Council if we are to stop this decimation of our Towns and Parks.

Council Leader says NO

A couple of weeks ago I asked the Leader of the Council to treat the people of Saughall Massie as fairly as he treated the people of Greasby with regard to the proposal to build a fire station on Green Belt land in Saughall Massie. We all know that when the people of Greasby objected to a fire station being built in their community the Leader of the Council instructed Council Officers to withdraw the land.

So I don’t believe it’s unreasonable for him to do the same for the 3,000 plus people of Saughall Massie who have already objected to the application in their community.    However in his email response to me he has said he won’t withdraw the land and wants the planning process to run its course.

Strangely I would have thought it incumbent on any Council leader, of any political persuasion to act in a consistent manner and treat all residents of the Borough with fairness and equality.   Sadly in Wirral under this Labour administration this is not the case.   I wonder why?    

Fire Station on Green Belt in Saughall Massie

IMG_2559It seems that Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service have, as yet, not been able to submit a planning application for their proposed new fire station on Green Belt land in Saughall Massie because they have to determine if there are any Great Crested Newts in the nearby pond!   However once they have carried out that survey they do intend to submit an application.   More information can be found in the email below:

—–Original Message—–
From: Schofield, Colin
Sent: 27 April 2016
Subject: RE: Fire Station – Saughall Massie

As the proposed development site is within 200m of an established pond, we are required by law to carry out an ecological survey to establish, amongst other things, if any protected species (e.g. Great Crested Newts) are present & if they are, come up with an appropriate mitigation strategy to ensure they are not harmed during any works. Surveys can only be carried out at times when such species are active (i.e. not during the winter months) & consequently we were unable to proceed with the survey until the temperature improved sufficiently to allow this to take place. The survey is currently underway & we should have the results within the next few weeks. The survey findings, together with any mitigation strategy, need to be submitted as part of the planning application to Wirral Borough Council.

I hope this explains why no planning application has yet been submitted. I anticipate that the planning application will be made in the next few months although I cannot be more precise at present.

Regards
Colin

Colin Schofield
Regional Project Director
Merseyside F&RS HQ
Bridle Road
Bootle
Merseyside
L30 4YD
tel 0151 296 4203

Town Meadow Station

Residents of the Millhouse estate and part of the Lingham estate will be aware that earlier this year, at my request, Merseytravel commissioned Mott Macdonald to carry out a consultation to see what people in the community thought about the introduction of a new railway station ‘Town Meadow’

Initially Mott Macdonald did a letter drop to some 2,000 homes and this was followed up by a door to door survey across 400 homes.    I am delighted that their report has now been finalised and can be published.

The Headlines of the report are:

  1. Reactions to the proposed new station were generally very positive with 83.4% supporting it and only 10% against it.
  2. The survey shows that the new station is likely to attract new users to the railway with over half (54.3%) of those who do not currently use either Meols or Moreton suggesting they would use the new station once a week or more.  Based on the survey use of the station would be high
  3. The survey suggested that car usage to get to Moreton is relatively high at 43% of those surveyed who use Moreton and that these users would in future principally walk to the new station at Town Meadow.  The level of car parking at Moreton is not that high and this would suggest that many people are being dropped off at the station before the driver then drives to another location.    This suggests that the sustainability at the station is slightly overstated.
  4. Those people surveyed who do use Moreton see the time saving provided by a station at Town Meadow as a real benefit
  5. The survey indicates clear support for a new station at Town Meadow.

You can read their full suvey findings by clicking HERE

I think this survey really strengthens the views that this station is ling overdue.    It will be interesting to see what ‘Spin’ Merseytravel Officers put on the covering report that will be sent to Rail Services Committee.   Watch this space