Fresh defeat for Leverhulme on 788 Wirral homes plan

Leverhulme Estates suffers new blow as High Court upholds decision by Wirral Council to refuse plans to build 788 new homes on Green Belt land. Tony McDonough reports

Leverhulme aimed to build 788 new homes across Wirral


Leverhulme Estates’ plans to build 788 new homes on Green Belt land in Wirral look to have been dealt a final fatal blow.

In January 2023 Wirral Council turned down a planning application by Leverhulme to build new homes on Green Belt land in Pensby, Irby, Greasby, Barnston, and Heswall. It included 300 ‘affordable’ dwellings.

Leverhulme appealed to the Planning Inspectorate but in September it upheld the decision of the council and said the new homes could not go ahead. 

It then took its case to the High Court. However, the court has backed the decision of both the council and the Planning Inspectorate. This means the property business has exhausted all of its legal avenues.

Leverhulme argued the inspectorate had not taken into account Wirral’s five-year housing land supply or the status of the council’s local plan when making its decision. The inspectorate is currently reviewing Wirral’s Local Plan for 2021 to 2037.

Nigel McGurk, head of planning and development for Leverhulme, told property news website Place North West: “Leverhulme remains, through all the processes taking place, best placed to help unlock Wirral’s housing shortage now and for future generations.

“Wirral Council’s current trajectory will simply fail to deliver the mix of affordable and family housing that the borough urgently requires.

Leverhulme will continue to highlight this and awaits with interest the response of the planning inspectors regarding the next steps in Wirral’s local plan process.”

The company has one outstanding appeal still to be heard by the Planning Inspectorate for 40 homes in Greasby. A date for the appeal has yet to be set.

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