Thank you to everyone who has supported the campaign to save the Green Belt and fight the plan for a Fire Station at Saughall Massie, and to those who attended the planning committee meeting on the 10th November.
You may be aware that at that meeting the Planning Committee Members deferred the decision in order to visit the site and see it for themselves. This will take place on Tuesday 13th December at 11:10am and the public can attend. I, along with Cllr Bruce Berry and Cllr Williams will be at the site from 10:50am if anyone has any questions.
So 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 for a new Fire Station on our green belt. 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.
At the last planning committee meeting on the 10th November around 150 objectors attended and their presence and opposition was clearly noted by the elected members. So for both the site visit on the 13th, and particularly the planning committee meeting on the 15th we need as many people as possible to attend.
Me, Bruce and Steve will be at the meeting and a huge turnout of residents will help to send a very clear message to the Council. That message is simply “Hands off Our Green Belt”
This is our FINAL 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
As this application gets ever closer to you writing a report and making a recommendation we just wanted to take this opportunity to remind you of the words of your colleague, Sheila Day in her pre-planning advice of the 13th November, 2015.
” I am concerned, that in the light of your fall-back scenario of being able to redevelop the fire station at Upton within the urban area and with no impact on the Green Belt, very special circumstances will not exist. In which case, planning permission is not likely to be granted.”
We believe her words encapsulate the situation exactly, and while the fire service has not shown their existing Upton site as one of the sites considered in their planning application, it is nevertheless an option, it is their Fall Back position, as they themselves have clearly stated, and one for which the Government grant can be utilised.
Given this scenario there can be absolutely no reason that any very special circumstances exist. We would therefore ask that you give very real consideration to this when determining this matter, and respectfully request that your recommendation is one of ‘Refusal’
Cllr Chris Blakeley, Cllr Bruce Berry, Cllr Steve Williams
Moreton West and Saughall Massie Ward
Wirral Borough Council
Clearly the biggest issue of the week was the Council budget meeting, and Labours decision to continue with the closure proposals for Girtrell Court. You can read more on that HERE
Local residents also contacted me about, yep you guessed it street lighting, I have reported numerous lights out this week to the Councils Head of Lighting. He tells me they will all be repaired.
Girtrell Road, residents have again asked what can be done to stop people parking on the grass verges causing damage, particularly in the wet weather we are experiencing. I have asked the Council if we can have bollards or some small trees planted on the verges that local residents can adopt.
Proposed new Fire Station. We have still not had a planning application submitted, I understand the Fire Authority are carrying out environmental and topographical surveys, as soon as those are complete we can expect an application. We know that last year the Labour candidate in the local elections supported the building of this new Fire Station, despite massive opposition from local people, Saughall Massie Conservation Society, the Wirral Society and me, Steve and Bruce. Watch this space. In the meantime there is an online petition that can be signed if like us you opposed to building on the green belt please sign it HERE
Finally it would be remiss of me not to mention the revelations that came out of Wallasey Town Hall this week as reported in the Wirral Globe
Readers of the blog will be aware that last month I reported that Burtons would be looking to submit a new planning application to build homes on the vacant site on Pasture Road. You can read more on that by clicking HERE
Earlier today I visited the exhibition by GVA Hilfinger at the Community Centre in Maryland Lane. Their indicative plans showed that they want to build 297 new homes on the site.
That is an awful lot of homes and my concerns remain over flooding, and how the infrastructure would support such a large development, schools, roads, road safety, health etc etc.
I know that something has to be done with this site, however I would want to see everyone’s concerns overcome before I could possibly lend my support to this proposal.
DEVELOPERS Galliford Try have lodged an appeal six months after their proposals for 38 apartments to be built at the site of the Millhouse pub in Millhouse Lane, Moreton , were thrown out unanimously by councillors during a meeting of Wirral’s planning committee last October.
Galliford Try have asked for the appeal to be conducted through an exchange of correspondence however I have asked for a public hearing of the appeal to be held locally.
I fully expected the applicant to submit an appeal. It was clear during the planning process the applicant had no interest in local peoples’ views and they just wanted permission to build this monstrosity that would not fit in with the existing street scene.
What is important now is that the appeal is heard in the public arena and we have asked planning officers to make representation to the Inspectorate to request this matter is heard in the public arena. This really is too important a matter to be determined by a faceless bureaucrat based in Bristol.
While an appeal has been submitted as of yet no start date or inspector have been appointed as the Planning Inspectorate has a backlog. As soon as I have more information I will make sure everyone who lives in the area and who magnificently opposed the planning application are informed.
Early this year Vodafone applied for planning permission to erect a mast and ancillary equipment in Holt Avenue a residential area, I was happy to support local residents in opposing the application. Wirral’s Planning Committee refused the application. As expected Vodafone appealed to the Planning Inspectorate in the hope of having the Councils decision overturned.
I was delighted to receive a letter from the planning inspector today informing me that he had dismissed the appeal by Vodafone stating that in his opinion that the proposed mast would be seen as a visually obtrusive addition to the local streetscene that would materially harm the character and appearance of the local area.
Now before anyone kicks off, yes I know we need masts in order to service the growing number of mobile phone users and the need to increase capacity on 3g coverage and I don’t have a problem with that, however the masts must be located in appropriate locations, and clearly this location is not and will never be appropriate.
Surely now after two planning applications at this location, two planning refusals and two lost appeals the telecommunication companies must have got the message? I suppose only time will tell
Next Tuesday (1oth August), Wirral’s Planning Committee will decide if the Tesco Express planning application on the site of the Plougn Pub will go ahead or not. Wirral’s Planning Officers are recommending that the application should be approved, albeit with a huge amount of conditions, many of which are traffic related. You can read the full report by clicking here
The application was deferred for a site visit at my request, and that site visit will be held at 12:30pm next Monday 9th August prior to the decision being made. You can read what the Wirral Globes says by clicking here