Three Wirral councillors are calling on developers to withdraw their counter proposals to build on Green Belt, following the latest announcements from the Government that urban regeneration must be the priority.
Councillors Vida Wilson, Colin Baldwin and Gary Bennett, all representing Moreton and Saughall Massie, are urging the multi-million pound housebuilders to ‘wake up’ to reality, ahead of the next phase of the hearings into Wirral’s draft Local Plan on 12 September.
Counter proposals and objections to protecting the Green Belt around Saughall Massie have been submitted by:
- Bloor Homes who want to build 276 houses on Green Belt along Saughall Massie Road and around Jenny’s Wood
- Taylor Wimpey who want to build 180 on Green Belt land between Saughall Road and the Arrowe Brook, even though the land is on the flood plain
- Russell Homes who want to build 555 houses on Green Belt between Saughall Massie Road and Pump Lane
Councillor Gary Bennett said: “Extra houses without additional services means more pressure on existing GPs, schools and roads. There is no direct bus from Saughall Massie to Liverpool, Birkenhead Wallasey or West Kirby, so major changes in bus routes would be required. While these three developers have every right to object, they have no right to destroy the quality of life for people who already live here or to put extra pressure on the taxpayer.”
Councillor Colin Baldwin said: “The Government has been clear – more houses must be built but not at the expense of communities such as Saughall Massie and Moreton. I urge Bloor Homes, Taylor Wimpey and Russell Homes to withdraw their counter proposals for more than 1,000 houses around Saughall Massie and, instead, to work with us to develop the run down and neglected urban areas in the Borough.”
Adding her support, Councillor Vida Wilson, the Council’s representative on the Saughall Massie Village Conservation Area, said: “Too much land around Moreton has been lost in the recent years – whether it’s Fender Farm, Fernbank Farm or the numerous green spaces around our community that have been lost forever. The result has been extra pressure on the flood plain, greater risk of flooding and more risk to historic communities such as Saughall Massie Village.”
Announcing the long-term plan for housing on 24 July, the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, reinforced this, saying: “We will enable brownfield development rather than green belt erosion, sustainable growth rather than suburban sprawl. So the economic and environmental imperatives all point towards a move away from a land-hungry destruction of natural habitats in favour of a much more efficient regeneration of our cities.”