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Posted by: John Brace | 3rd November 2017

Decision on controversial Saughall Massie Fire Station land transfer delayed

Decision on controversial Saughall Massie Fire Station land transfer delayed

                                                           

In a response to an earlier story on this blog headlined Will two overlooked covenants for “enjoyment of light” prevent a fire station at Saughall Massie from happening? Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service stated,

“the “Retained Land” detailed in Land Registry title number MS503610 does not include the land upon which Merseyside Fire & Rescue Authority have planning permission to build a new fire station.“
 

I then pointed out to them that the title stated the following (I’ve underlined the relevant section which expands the definition of Retained Land for emphasis):

“Schedule 3
Part I
Rights granted for the benefit of the Property over Retained Land

There is granted to the Transferee and its successors in title its mortgagees chargees and all persons deriving title through them for the benefit of each and every part of the Property which is included in Batch Plans where there is Retained Land or which is situated adjacent to or adjoining to or in the vicinity of any part of the Retained Land or other neighbouring land of the Transferor (which for the purposes of this Schedule 3 Part 1 shall be deemed to be incorporated in the definition of Retained Land) and the owners and occupiers thereof from time to time such (if any) of the following rights over that part of the Retained Land as are capable of benefitting that part of the Property (such rights to be enjoyed in common with the Transferor and all other persons having the like or similar rights) over such land and each and every part thereof

5 The right to unimpeded access and enjoyment of light and air to all windows in the buildings now on such part of the Property from or over the Retained Land provided always that nothing expressed or implied in the Transfer shall prevent the Transferor from developing the Retained Land.”

  
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Now by their latest response it appears they accept that there is a right of light to the adjacent properties across the land that has planning permission for a fire station, but are now arguing that the fire station is too far away to make a difference.

This is their response (written by someone who isn’t a Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority officer but claims to write with the opinion of the whole Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority (all eighteen councillors)):

However, the Authority do not accept that a single storey fire station, some 40 metres from, & at a lower level than, the nearest property will impede any access and enjoyment of light and air to windows in any property within the title plan.

The position of the Authority on this matter is final and will not be the subject of any further correspondence.

Below is part of a computer generated drawing submitted with the planning application. The drawing was done by the agent for the planning application (Ryder Architecture), although I have added a red arrow for emphasis.

Saughall Massie fire station drawing

Saughall Massie fire station drawing

As you can see quite clearly from where my red arrow points, there is a two metre high perimeter fence surrounding the fire station approved as part of this planning application.

The fence is described as a two metre high timber closeboard fence (which doesn’t let through light) and is halfway between the proposed fire station and the neighbouring properties on the top of an embankment.

A decision by Wirral Council’s Cabinet on the transfer of the land to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority was expected this month, but is now scheduled in Wirral Council’s Forward Plan as expected to be taken either in December 2017 or January 2018.

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Responses

  1. Why does it need a fence, are the scare someone might steal a fire engine!

    • I’m not sure why a fence has been included in the plans around the perimeter (on the original revised planning application it was originally a Paladin wire mesh fence but revised drawings were later submitted changing it to a closeboard fence), but I can guess that it could be:-

      a) to attempt to lessen the impact of the reduction of the openness of the green belt of the fire station buildings behind the fence when viewed from the properties to the East,

      and/or

      b) for security reasons so that everyone going to the fire station has to enter it by the gates at the Saughall Massie Road end

      and/or

      c) to make it clear that it’s no longer open access land for people to walk their dogs across.


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