West Wirral Issues, May 2016

Our monthly news report for West Wirral

Potential Hoylake Golf Resort LocationWe are helping the newly created Hoylake Golf Resort Committee, formed following the open meeting on the 29th March to raise awareness of the impacts of the proposed (for 15+ years) Hoylake Golf Resort. The traffic from the new road into Hoylake and the 100+ new houses will obviously impact the already busy Saughall Massie Road towards Saughall Massie ad the Motorway.

They will be holding an open meeting on Thursday 26th May at the Hoylake Chapel. All welcome, please spread the word.

We understand that the Hoylake Neighbourhood Plan has passed the approval of the Inspector and so there will be a referendum for the people of the Hoylake Neighbourhood Plan Area in the near future.

We remain very concerned that the area taken by the Hoylake Neighbourhood Plan exceeds the reasonable boundary of Hoylake, conveniently fitting in with the proposed Hoylake Golf Resort. We are further concerned that the only proposal for Hoylake in the Hoylake Neighbourhood Plan is the out of town Hoylake Golf Resort. Surely there must be ideas more focussed on regenerating the centre?

We were pleased to read that Cllr Watt (West Kirby and Thurstaston) has publically raised doubts about the Hoylake Golf Resort. A welcome comment, but we wish his Hoylake colleagues would share his views.

We still have the situation of a Council crying “poverty” reducing social services but yet able to fund the continuing Hoylake Golf Resort “scheme”!

We learn that “our” Community Fire Service are still spending our money with their plans to “merge” West Kirby and Upton fire stations into a new station at Saughall Massie, a mile down the road from Upton. This is despite the Council advising them that they need to show far better reasons for building on Green Belt land. As the service seems able to operate from Upton to cover Hoylake and West Kirby, it seems a gross waste of money to spend some £4m on a new station “just down the road”.

Chance To Question Council Over Hoylake Golf Resort

Potential Hoylake Golf Resort LocationIf you live in Wirral West constituency, there is a public constituency meeting to be held on Thursday, 11th February 2016 at 7.00 pm at Hilbre High School, Frankby Road, West Kirby, CH48 6EQ.

There are a number of items on the agenda, including an update on West Kirby flood alleviation proposals (item No.4) and also a 20 minute presentation (item No.7) given by David Ball, on feedback regarding the recent public consultation about the proposed ‘Golf Resort’ earmarked for Greenbelt land just outside Hoylake.

50 minutes will be allocated for ‘Community Question Time’ when members of the public in attendance can raise questions on the issues raised during the meeting.

The Wirral Society will have representation attending this meeting for the purposes of gathering information about ‘Golf Resort’.

Wirral Conservation Service Update

Wirral Conservation Areas’ Forum Respond

Wirral Conservation Area Forum-Newsletter-September-2014As reported in our previous post, there is an impending threat to the future of Wirral’s council-run Conservation Service. Wirral Conservation Areas’ Forum have responded to this in their newsletter which you can download in full from this website.

Here is their quoted response to this worrying news:

In a shock announcement at a meeting between Forum officers Alan Chape and David Allan and the Council’s Head of Regeneration David Ball, it was disclosed that Wirral’s Conservation team, together with the post of Tree officer, was being disbanded.
David Ball gave an assurance that the Council will still deliver its Conservation service but in a different way. It would mean they would cease to employ specialist in-house officers but would set aside a sum of money to buy-in specialist advice previously provided by the Conservation team and Tree officer.

At the moment the conservation officers provide advice to the case officers on planning applications that have conservation and heritage implications. In the future, where specialist advice is required, this will be provided either by in-house, re-trained case officers or by buying in such advice from external sources.

In relation to the Tree officer the Council has a Technical Services department responsible for the care and maintenance of 6000 trees. This resource of staff would be linked to tree work applications together with specialist advice provided by external sources.
The Forum representatives expressed deep concern that the consultation process was being limited to staff and trade unions to the exclusion of the Conservation committees. Given the statutory obligations of the Council to Wirral’s 26 Conservation Areas, including two of international renown and several which had been designated ‘at risk’ by English Heritage, it was felt that the proposals would lead to an unacceptable diminution of service. They pointed out that the proposals did not address a whole range of other matters relating to maintaining the character of Wirral’s Conservation Areas such as overseeing their simple day to day care and management.

Forum chairman, Alan Chape has written to Wirral’s Chief Executive, Graham Burgess expressing concerns about both the process and the content stressing the need for wider consultation with local Conservation and Civic societies who make up the Wirral Conservation Areas’ Forum. Subject to agreement by the Chief Executive, David Ball will attend the General Meeting of the Forum scheduled for 15th October at Port Sunlight where he will explain his proposals and answer questions.

The Wirral Society will be following all future developments on this issue and offering their support where necessary.

Wirral Conservation Service Under Threat

Uncertain Future Facing Wirral’s Conservation Service

Eastham-Village-Conservation-AreaMembers of the Committee have been very concerned to learn in recent days, of the possible demise of Wirral Council’s Conservation Service and the loss its Tree Officer, because of financial stringencies.

We are currently trying to find out more information on exactly what the proposals are, before we make any comment formally.