Elite Land Group has won planning permission for a development of 28 houses on a former school field site in Prenton, where six proposals had previously been refused.
The scheme will now be referred to the Secretary of State to be rubber-stamped, due to an objection from statutory consultee Sport England.
Liverpool-registered developer Elite, advised by planning consultancy Roman Summer, applied for full planning permission for the demolition of a house on Glenavon Road, and its replacement by a single dwelling with an access point to the playing fields at the rear, where 28 four-bedroom houses are to be built.
In 2016, a refusal for an equivalent volume of development at the site was overturned by a Planning Inspector, but an entirely fresh application was required due to a condition requiring provision of affordable homes – the 2016 proposal, submitted by Heswall-based Design Planning, was originally 100% affordable.
Elite’s scheme is now 100% market value, with the developer citing viability issues and feedback from local consultation that residents in the area were opposed to affordable housing at the site. Elite is to make a contribution to off-site affordable housing instead.
Over the course of 40 years, six proposals for the Pershore House School playing fields site have been refused, including a tennis club, a nursing home and several schemes proposing the use of some or all of the site for housing. Two further applications have been withdrawn. The fields are no longer in use by the private school, which closed in 2000, and are in private ownership.
Sport England opposed the scheme due to concerns over lack of sports facilities in the area, but although Wirral acknowledged the area is under-served, the Pershore site has been inaccessible since its closure due to its private ownership. Twenty five individual objections were made, along with two petitions. Two members of the planning committee voted against approval.
In addition, Roman Summer argued that Wirral “cannot sensibly suggest” that it has a five-year housing supply.
The professional team also includes architect Studio RBA, Grimshaw Consulting and Tree Studio.