Leverhulme Vision plans Leverhulme p Mason Media

An example of what Leverhulme hopes to deliver through its Leverhulme Vision project. Credit: via Mason Media

Leverhulme fights back in Wirral

The developer is appealing the council’s rejection of eight applications, which would have seen the building of around 800 homes and a 56-acre park on Green Belt.

Wirral Council systematically refused Leverhulme’s planning applications last year, describing the projects as inappropriate development on Green Belt. The local authority also said there was insufficient evidence regarding the environmental impact of the schemes and an unsatisfactory amount of sustainable and active travel provisions.

All eight applications were part of the Leverhulme Vision project, which focuses on nearly 110 acres of Green Belt in Pensby, Irby, Greasby, Barnston, and Heswall. Of the eight projects, seven are focused on building up to 788 homes. The eighth is for a sustainable alternative natural greenspace with 3.26km of footpaths.

Only one Leverhulme Vision application has yet to be refused – an outline application for 240 homes in Greasby.

Leverhulme said its plans would deliver more than 300 affordable homes, which the developer claims are much needed in Wirral.

“Leverhulme is uniquely placed to be able to deliver the new homes that Wirral urgently requires and to deliver them in the most sustainable way,” said Leverhulme head of land and planning Nigel McGurk.

“In delivering these developments, Leverhulme would ensure multiple other benefits in ways that no other proposal in Wirral can including the opening up of the countryside, the creation of new cycleways and footpaths, and the enhancement of biodiversity and habitats,” McGurk continued.

“Crucially, our developments would stimulate essential economic growth across the Wirral – providing urgently needed homes, creating jobs, and supporting services. They would serve to strengthen communities and promote wellbeing.”

McGurk concluded: “We are disappointed that Wirral Council did not support our comprehensive, planned, and unique solution to meeting Wirral’s needs in a way that provides for direct, ongoing reinvestment back into Wirral through a sustainable and realistic approach to development.”

Alan Baxter is the masterplanner and architect for the Leverhulme Vision projects, with Strutt & Parker as the planning consultant. Curtins is the transportation consultant for the schemes. Barnes Walker is the landscaping consultant.

For those interested in learning more about the Leverhulme Vision applications, the application numbers are:

Refused resi applications

  • OUT/22/00941
  • OUT/22/00942
  • OUT/22/00943
  • OUT/22/00944
  • OUT/22/00945
  • OUT/22/00946
  • OUT/22/00947

Refused SANG application

  • APP/22/01502

Undecided resi application

  • OUT/22/01821

Your Comments

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If more homes are needed in Wirral, and that is debatable, the area at Greenhouse Farm in Greasby is most unsuitable. It is prime farmland and should remain as such, no ifs, no buts.

By Janet Feely

This is the beginning of using green belt land for over crowded housing estates

By Robert Hughes

As planning restrictions on Green Belt are no longer as stringent some of these plans may well be accepted by the Planning Inspector.
As far as Wirral Council is concerned they need to put their own house in order before they start denigrating others, as roads are filthy, gutters full of grass and debris, paving damaged, parks untidy, Hoylake beach is a boggy mess.

By Anonymous

These properties are unneeded, population on wirral is relatively static, pollution is extremely high, there is not enough infrastructure to support these developments. Greasby has 1 doctors – can’t get an appointment for live nor money. Traffic is appalling as it is.

By Marg

Wirral’s population is static because housing stock is either unaffordable/unavailable or unattractive, with not much in between. The borough needs more decent family homes.

By Jeff

My goodness, no one in these comments seems to have looked at the 2021 census results for the NorthWest. Wirral and Sefton hardly grew at all, while the NorthWest grew ~5%. In LCR Liverpool grew 4% and Knowsley 6%, next door Cheshire West grew 8.4%. You post those kind of numbers when you aren’t building houses, not because people don’t want to live in the Wirral. In another study Wirral and Sefton had a modal age of Boomer, where Salford, which is the fastest growing place in the NorthWest (15%+) modal age is Millennial or younger. The place is being strangled.

By Rich X

The Wirral’s population is on a slight decline and there’s loads of areas that need regeneration. Why on earth should green belt be lost in such an area? A sensible planning refusal. Jog on guys…

By Dr B

Why are Leverhulme again submitting these plans. Don’t they understand the word NO NO NO. Our fantastic councilors do a great job on the Wirral. They have supported the people of Wirral with all the petitions etc.
NIGEL MCGURK. We the people of Wirral will not give up ever in our fight to save the Greenbelt for future generations and wildlife etc. Pauline Robinson

By Anonymous

@rich. Salford is full of students.
Not a static population by any means

By Eric

Rich X…..Salford is all high rise.

By Frank

Thanks for the reply guys. That’s true for Salford, but not true for Cheshire West or East, which you would think are areas likely to attract a similar resident to the Wirral. If you take Cheshire West they have released green belt and agricultural land outside Chester, and each of main towns and villages, everywhere has taken some housing, but mainly where there is existing amenity. I can think of Farndon or Malpas, and they are probably 25-30% bigger than they were 10 years ago. Struggling to see why the Wirral is special.

By Rich X

Greed. Nothing more. Plenty of brown belt. Stop using what little green spaces we have for substandard housing.

By Anonymous

All Leverhulme are interested in is making money and could not care less about the people of Wirral who have voiced their opinion with an emphatic NO. We don’t want and don’t need you building on our green spaces.

By W stanley

With a static population and brown sites to build on why use some of our beautiful open spaces to cram hundreds of unnecessary houses. These projects are all about making money for the Leverhulme Estates providing affordable housing is way down their priority list. Once the land has been built on its gone forever.

By Yvonne

Greenbelt / farming and agriculteral land should not be used for house building. FULL STOP.
The road infrastucture is getting busier with all the new properties, flats etc that are being built. The road network is simply saturated. Soon the area into the peninsular willbe gridlocked because of too many.
What are the plans for when that happens in the near future, if homes are bulit to this extent.?

By Flowerday

Total greed. None of the people working on this for Leverhulme live on the Wirral so couldn’t care less. Many brown field sites should be developed first such as Wirral Waters.

By Rob Walker

I am fully behind the councils decision to reject the planning permission to build houses on greenbelt land. There are plenty of other brownfield sites that can be used.

By Paul

The SPECIAL thing about the Wirral rich x is.
We care about our community and the people in it. Yesterday a man was litter picking with his two young daughters.
They support us that’s what a community should be like. PAULINE ROBINSON

By Anonymous

@Jan 5, 1.35pm,How can anyone say the council is great but then say it needs volunteers to keep the place clean, also isn`t it the community that`s creating the litter. I know visitors come to the Wirral, especially the seafront, and maybe if the council allowed a few cafes to be built people could eat and have a coffee inside instead of the open air and depositing litter, as you can walk all the way from Meols slipway almost to West Kirby and there is not one cafe overlooking the sea for people to enjoy.

By Anonymous

RICHX I think you should look at the statistics properly. There are 100s of flats built in Heswall Wirral in the last few years. One block just completed on sight of church. Very smart and practical for the young people to buy. That’s affordable housing not 4 + bedroom homes. Which Leverhulme want to build on farm land and green belt. RHG Boris Johnson was so right when in parliament he said WE NEED FARMLAND to sustain our own food growth
Yes he was right. The cost of living is sky high now. WE DONT NEED MORE HOUSES. .

By Anonymous

I think both the ‘antis’ for want of a better word here, and Rich X miss some points. A diverse mix of housing is what is required on the Wirral and in general. It’s good that young-focused apartments are being built. But there’s also a need for family housing for families wanting to needing to expand. Brownfield first, yes definitely. Wirral Waters is a great scheme. But it can’t be brownfield only because that wouldn’t be realistic. A lot of green belt is of poor quality. However, you can make much of this more biodiverse by planting woodlands, orchids and country parks.

The Cheshire West & Chester, and Cheshire East, and Knowsley stats are in many ways more important. These don’t have the heavy university focus which drag a median age of an area lower. However, I’ll hazard a guess that a big mix of housing including families with young children have been built in the afore three unitary authorities – and they’ll be staying here for a long time, unlike more transient Salford.

Cheshire also has a strong village scene and big employers within too.

In Great Preston near me, house building in Cottam and Longridge among other nearby areas has meant a rise in the fertility rate. The UK generally has a low tfr so having suitable housing for families to expand is important. Suitable single accommodation for young singles and downsizing retirees are crucial too, with the later, it means larger houses are freed up for families.


Thought leverhulme was about maintaining the wirral not bulldozing it old man must be turning in his grave

By Nick little

The council policy of brownfield sites first is correct. There are insufficient doctor surgeries , dentists or the road infrastructure to cope with a huge increase in housing on the greenbelt. Perhaps if the developers should start with new surgeries and the difficult infrastructure instead of just the lucrative housing on easy clean uncontaminated greenbelt land. They are not interested in anything other than quick easy money and don’t care about the quality of life for all the current and future residents.

By Frank h

Tell them to build on the Green Belt next to their Mansion in Thornton Hough

By Paul Burton

What is so easy about saving the greenery in our country. Wake up you hypocrites. We do not need more houses we need farmland to grow our own food. we need independence to survive. All you young people get on board and help this great Britain to be great again. You are our future x

By Anonymous

If it’s ‘natural habitat’ how can building on it enhance it. That’s got to be the most stupid idea ever. Maybe build a hotel on the Great Barrier Reef. Nope that would be stupid as natural does not need enhancement

By Anonymous

Thanks for reply SW, and totally agree there needs to be a mix of housing types. You see a lot of comments about the use of brownfield, and that’s hard to argue against, but you’ve got to pull through what that means down the line. If places like Salford don’t build on greenfield too they are going to see whole cohorts of twenty and thirty something apartment dwellers begin to start families and find a limited supply of family housing. So as the Wirral develops greenfield it also needs to provide other housing types. The thing that always startles you about the Wirral is that it has Merseyrail stations that drop you off in a field – how is this sustainable development? How much public subsidy is required make those rail services viable. I dont know any other UK cities where you can catch an underground railway in the middle of a built up city and ten minutes later get out in a field.

By Rich X

As a building engineer for the past40 + years , it is my considered opinion that these proposed plans would bring a much needed benefit both economically and practically for the people of Wirral. I would also be more than willing to help and be a part of this fabulous new development for all the people of Wirral to receive, A gift in the form of considerable good fortune. Kind regards John Leslie Huddle.

By John Leslie Huddle

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