Counter proposals to Wirral’s draft Local Plan have revealed attempts by housebuilders and developers to dig up swathes of the Borough’s Green Belt.
As part of the legal consultation, agents acting for developers submitted detailed counter proposals to build thousands of houses on Green Belt, agricultural land and the flood plain.
The counter proposals have now been revealed and will be part of the evidence considered by the independent Inspectors, appointed to assess whether the draft Local Plan is viable.
One of the sites that is now at risk is located between Saughall Massie and Greasby – near Pump Lane and the Arrowe Brook.
Agents acting for Russell Homes are asking to have Green Belt protections removed from the site, to enable 555 houses to be built.Local councillors have slammed the move and are urging the Council to be robust in defending the site for protection when they meet the inspector.
Councillor Tracy Elzeiny (Conservative, Greasby, Frankby, Irby Ward) said: “This is an appalling and unwanted proposal. Residents have, from day one, made it clear that this land, which is so vital to the flood plain and natural environment, must be protected. Now that their proposals have been revealed, we must ensure that well-resourced and slick developers must not override the wishes of the community.”
Councillor Vida Wilson (Conservative, Moreton West & Saughall Massie) said: “We’ve seen too many threats to our Green Belt in Saughall Massie in recent years. And yet at every single time, residents have worked hard to fight unwanted developments. We will do the same with this one. 555 houses would put extra pressure on local public services, long after the developer has made their money and left the scene.”
Meanwhile, both councillors have thanked the work being done by local campaign groups including Greasby Greenbelt Action Group, Natural Wirral and Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces to make residents aware of these new, specific challenges to the Green Belt.
Mike Worden BA (Hons) Dip TP MRTPI and Tom Bristow BA MSc MRTPI have been appointed as inspectors of the Local Plan and will be holding an independent examination of the Wirral Local Plan that will be in force until 2037. The hearings will be held at Wallasey Town Hall and dates are expected to be published soon.
Te Local Plan documents can be found at: https://www.wirral.gov.uk/planning-and-building/local-plan-examination