News Update, January 2017

Proposed ‘Community’ Fire Station at Saughall Massie

Proposed site of new 'community' Fire Station
Proposed site of new ‘community’ Fire Station, directly in front of single-story sheltered housing for the elderly and infirm.

Much to the surprise of many, the Planning Officer’s recommendation to approve this application, which was narrowly rejected by the Council’s Planning Committee recently. The majority of the Committee accepted the very slender argument in the report that there were ‘Very Special Circumstances’, which would allow a new station to be built on Wirral’s Green Belt to replace the Upton station one mile away. However, the Application was subsequently rejected because of its close proximity to sheltered housing.

View of proposed Saughall Massie Fire Station from sheltered housing garden
This is the view from the garden of one of the many sheltered housing units looking directly where the proposed ‘community’ Fire Station was targetted for location. Wirral’s Planning Committee thankfully concluded that this was too close to vulnerable residents.

Having spent so much public money on failed attempts to build this new station, first in Greasby and now in Saughall Massie, we are concerned the Fire Authority will now Appeal to the Government to overturn this locally-made decision. We note the Upton station (along with Heswall) has successfully served the North West corner of Wirral since the closure of the West Kirby station in April 2015, and there seems to be no good reason for change.

We continue to work with the Saughall Massie Residents’ Association to try and ensure that should there be an Appeal, the Inspector is made well aware of defects in information provided to Members by both the Council and the Fire Authority.

Littering

The Society is delighted to learn that Wirral Council is to take action to tackle ‘grot-spots’.  We note from the Wirral Globe, that the Council is ‘re-investing’ some of the proceeds from littering fixed penalty notices; many of which are on privately-owned or unregistered land.

Fracking Wirral

It is also good to record that the Government has withdrawn funding from the ‘Underground Coal Gasification’ process which, it was generally expected, would have affected the Dee Estuary.