The Leverhulme Vision was supposed to see the building of environmentally resilient neighbourhoods with leafy streets. Credit: via Leverhulme Estate

Wirral rejects eight Leverhulme Vision apps

A decision has yet to be made on the developer’s ninth and final application for the largescale Green Belt project, but an approval seems unlikely given the refusal of the past eight applications.

Among the rejected applications are seven outline plans that would have enabled the building of 788 homes on nearly 110 acres of Green Belt spread out across the Wirral, including sites in Pensby, Irby, Greasby, and Heswall.

Inappropriate development on Green Belt as well as urban encroachment were two of the reasons cited in the decision letters. Other reasons for refusal included insufficient evidence of ecological impact and an unsatisfactory provision for sustainable and active travel.

Aside from the seven resi planning applications that have been refused, Wirral Council rejected Leverhulme’s plans for a 56-acre park earlier this week.

The suitable alternative natural greenspace development was refused due to insufficient information regarding biodiversity net gain, ecological impacts, and loss of agricultural land. The proposal’s strategy for sustainable drainage was also deemed unsatisfactory.

All eight applications were part of the Leverhulme Vision project.

In October, Nigel McGurk, head of land and planning for Leverhulme, described the plans accordingly: “The Leverhulme Vision has been developed over several years and follows a rigorous process of creating communities which are beautiful but also economically and environmentally resilient, something that has never been more urgent than today.”

There is one Leverhulme Vision planning application that has yet to be refused. This surviving application calls for outline permission to build 240 homes in Greasby.

Like the applications before it, this plan is on Green Belt and includes 30% affordable housing. While the other residential applications were submitted in May, this application was only lodged with the council in October.

The Leverhulme Vision project team includes planner Strutt & Parker, masterplanner and architect Alan Baxter, transportation consultant Curtins, and landscaping consultant Barnes Walker.

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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Leverhulme really believe their own hype and there’s no substance behind it! Credit to Wirral Council for seeing right through the poorly put together proposals that don’t show any genuine value the schemes would provide and would only bring a long list of problems for the surrounding communities and environment to the plots.

By Extinct Logic

Quite right. Not wanted or needed at this stage. Birkenhead needs to be the priority for this plan. If any Green Belt is released it should be for employment sites down towards Eastham/ Hooton and link in with all that’s going on at Stellantis and Hy-net. New jobs might mean we finally see some growth.

By William Hesketh

How can you reject an application for “inappropriate use of Green Belt and Urban encroachment”, Wirral should look to Dorset and see how King Charles developed Poundbury.

By Anonymous

The right decision by Wirral MBC. Yes Birkenhead is the future. On every metric: climate, transport, accessibility, waterfront. No-one was fooled by this greenbelt carpetbagging

By LEighteen

In many ways, these proposals were unusually well thought out and might have made a serious attempt to create beautiful homes. But they completely ignored WBC’s Local Plan and were therefore rightly rejected. The problem is that if WBC had allowed this stuff, then the usual “volume slum-builders” would have had a good case for demanding the same largesse. So, no. Well done WBC.

By Matthew Jones

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