Wirral Waters One August 2019
Peel's Wirral Waters is one of the areas included in the proposed local plan

Wirral to delay local plan delivery

Sarah Townsend

The council has informed the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government that it needs extra time to submit its long-awaited local plan, despite pledging to meet the June deadline earlier this summer.

A consultation on the Wirral Local Plan ran from 13 January to 23 March this year, and Wirral Council has spent the lockdown period reviewing feedback from members of the public, required to formally move to the next stage of the preparation process.

It said in a statement in May it intended to publish comments from interested parties on the council’s website “in the coming weeks” and submit the draft plan to the Government in June. Since the close of the consultation council officers have been collating and analysing the public’s responses to the Issues and Options paper in preparation for moving on to the next stage (formally known as Regulation 19).

However, the council gave people more time to comment on the proposals contained in the plan on account of the lockdown period and needs more time now to review them.

“Extending the timescales for preparing and adopting the final local plan will ensure we have developed a robust ‘sound’ local plan that not only protects our green belt but shapes the regeneration needed in our borough, improves the health and lifestyles of our residents and boosts employment opportunities,” said Wirral Council’s cabinet member for the local plan, Cllr Anita Leech.

“We have had an impressive response to the consultation we ran at the start of the year, and despite the obvious difficulties resulting from the global COVID-19 pandemic we have been working hard to collate and analyse the responses.

“We have also been undertaking several evidence base studies and on-site assessment work, but this has been unable to happen at the pace we initially anticipated due to the restrictions in place,” she added.

The council did not provide a revised timetable for the delivery of its local plan, saying only that will “publish details of the extended programme as soon as practicable following an expected announcement by Government on national planning reforms expected over the summer.”

The council has been grilled on its position on Green Belt release since 2018, when it published an earlier version of the Wirral Local Plan that recommended 50 Green Belt sites should be released for residential development.

The latest iteration of the document prioritises building in urban areas or on brownfield land elsewhere, with a focus on sites within Birkenhead town centre, Wallasey, and Peel’s Wirral Waters, which already has consent for 13,000 homes.

Wirral’s statutory housing requirement is set at 12,000 new homes over the period to 2035.

However, most brownfield land is privately owned and although the council is working with landowners and developers to ensure sites are made available and delivered it may not be possible to meet all the housing need using only brownfield sites so other potential options are being considered, the council said.

Cllr Leech added: “Protection of Wirral’s Green Belt is one of our key priorities in developing the local plan.

“Not only are we determined to lay the foundations for Wirral’s economy to be buoyant and ensure we have sufficient homes for the people who live here, but we want to protect our beautiful green spaces – which are the reason many choose to live in the borough.”

 

 

 

Your Comments

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Just get us out of the LCR. The rest will follow.

By Heswall

The Wirral has needed a facelift for years. For them, it`s been very satisfying to sit in awe at the beauty of Liverpool from across a beautiful tidal river, only to turn around and wish they had the same tranquility Liverpool has been gifted, to massage the mind.

By Liverpool romance

Wirral is very much part of the Liverpool city region. Birkenhead side should be Liverpool’s south bank.

It will be good to see Wirral Waters take shape.

I think a bridge is needed.

By Heswall resident

Wirral and Liverpool are one thing – historically and culturally. More housing needed in Wirral near to Birkenhead. Just hope they avoid building on green sites.

By Wirralian

Quelle surprise! The sooner the SOS steps in, the better. If locals think that the political games that the Council is playing with Government will pay off, they are in for a shock when the decision-making is taken out of their hands and into Tory ones. The WBC Local Plan is now over 20 years old!!

By Ardy

They need to allocate safeguarded greenfield sites to provide housing, if and definitely when a lot of the brownfield sites don’t emerge.

By concerned

Liverpools South Bank

By Anonymous

Heswall/Manchester your obsessed.

By Anonymous

This is now so far beyond a joke. Until someone actually punishes the Council for continually ignoring delivering a local plan nothing will happen. The LPA is still relying on policies which were out of date 20 years ago…it’s ridiculous, are they just going to be allowed to continually delay things because they don’t want to develop in West Wirral????

By A concerned resident

Cram flats into places no one wants to live to “save” private farmland. Typical Wirral political nonsense.

Should be planning for places people want to live – bigger homes with space for home working & surrounded by greenery and fresh air.

Council hasn’t had a Plan for 20 years & Wirral Waters hasn’t happened for 20 years !

By Wirrally

Get Peel to stick their hand in their pocket for a change and Wirral Waters would have half its housing delivered by now. Landbankers extraordinaire

By Bank of WirraLand

@Anon

Don’t like hearing the truth? I actually feel jealous of other cities a lot lately. At least residents’ views seem to get heard (sometimes even dealt with) instead of brushed off like a piece of muck on a shoe.

By Anonymous

The tragedy of Wirral is that it now has very little green belt left and builders, are looking at carving up what little is left.

The sad closure of Kingsmead private school for all ability and special children leaves the last greenfield site between moreton and west kirby prey to the developers. Part of it labelled for Executive Housing. Wirral doesn’t have a large population of high earners compared to other parts of the country so where are all the 80-100k jobs to pay mortgages on 500-800k houses going to suddenly spring from. Wirral has filled up with white elephant housing schemes as though people on London/SE wages are going to be here en masse but it’s not going to happen. I think many more the further up the peninsula away from Chester/Runcorn you go will stay empty or be sold at a loss. Who, I wonder is pouring money into funding all these new builds that take ages to sell. Surely no way to run a business. I suspect it could be a good way to get rid of cash for some people who can’t use other means. Not all developers necessarily but something doesnt adf up. I wrote on another thread about the building blitz in Heswall of faux luxury housing development and many of these are still liated after 2-3 years from off plan to after completion. Who puts money into that? Good family home being demolished for houses with internal walls of chipboard! Look at the white walled properties with large black framed windows. Budget jobs with poor and half built perimetre walls in some cases.

Houses aren’t selling but people building them are buying up more family homes/back yards and building even more. Dates on property listing get updated so a house/flats listed in 2018 or eatlier can be changed to May or June 20 at the click of a button.

Something is not right.

The ONS across the country have massively upped housing needs and the building companies are over the moon.

By Obervant Wirralian