Leverhulme loses appeal on 788 Wirral homes plan

Planning inspector backs Wirral Council and quashes plans by Leverhulme Estate to build 788 new homes on Green Belt across Wirral. Tony McDonough reports

Leverhulme aimed to build 788 new homes across Wirral


Leverhulme Estate has been told it cannot build 788 new homes across Wirral by a planning inspector.

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

Wirral Council said the projects were inappropriate development for the Green Belt. It added there was insufficient evidence regarding the environmental impact of the schemes and not enough active travel provisions.

Now a planning inspector has backed the council’s refusal following a public inquiry that was held in July.

Vowing to keep pushing for what he calls the ‘Leverhulme vision’, the estate’s head of planning and development, Nigel McGurk, said: “Leverhulme is disappointed with the decisions reached by the inspector.

As part of our long term vision we wanted to make a significant and early contribution to the identified needs of Wirral, but the inspector has not supported this.

“The very real and deeply embedded issues facing Wirral regarding the chronic lack of housing supply, in particular the urgent requirement for family and affordable housing, remain the same, and will not simply go away.

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“Unfortunately for those in need of housing, Wirral Council’s current trajectory will continue to fail to deliver the mix of housing that the borough requires.

“We will continue to promote the Leverhulme Vision for deliverable, sustainable communities, most immediately via the Local Plan process. We look forward to ultimately contributing to the acute housing needs of the borough.”

Leverhulme still has one more appeal to be heard by the inspector. This is a plan for 240 homes in Greasby, including 72 affordable dwellings. The council also rejected this application over fears of its impact on a nearby Stone Age site.

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