Posted by: John Brace | 8th October 2018

VIDEO: Wirral West Constituency Committee (Wirral Council) 4th October 2018 – what levels of housing in Wirral’s greenbelt are needed for the Local Plan?

VIDEO: Wirral West Constituency Committee (Wirral Council) 4th October 2018 – what levels of housing in Wirral’s greenbelt are needed for the Local Plan?

                                                   

A member of the public asking questions about the Local Plan Wirral West Constituency Committee 4th October 2018

A member of the public asking questions about the Local Plan Wirral West Constituency Committee 4th October 2018




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Wirral West Constituency Committee (Wirral Council) 4th October 2018 Playlist – the Local Plan consultation discussion starts at 11:31 in the first video clip

The Wirral West Constituency Committee met for a two and a half hour public meeting on Thursday evening (4th October 2018) at St Chad’s Church Hall in Roslin Road, Irby.

Large numbers of people (for some it was standing room only despite extra chairs being put out) were there to ask questions about Wirral Council’s Local Plan consultation (which is also referred to on Wirral Council’s website as the Development Options Review) which runs for 6 weeks and started on the 3rd September 2018.

You can view the Wirral Council Cabinet meeting (which lasts for just under 17 minutes) on the 23rd July 2018 that agreed to the 6 week consultation below.

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Cabinet (Wirral Council) 23rd July 2018

When the consultation is finished, the results of the Local Plan consultation will be reported back for a recommendation by the Labour councillors on Wirral Council’s Cabinet on Monday 17th December 2018.

However, first a short history about the Local Plan consultation.

In July 2018, Wirral Council’s Cabinet decided to use a figure of around 800 households a year (which comes to just over 12,000 over the 15 year life of the Local Plan). This was based on an unverified figure provided by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government after a consultation that Wirral Council hadn’t responded to.

Since the consultation started on 3rd September 2018 the Office of National Statistics on 20th September 2018 have published newer figures of around 478 households a year if you round-up or 477 if you round down (7,167 over the 15 year life of the Local Plan).

The formula that the government produced required councils to use the most recent figures.

Obviously this difference of around 5,000 households less over the 15 year life of the Local Plan (or around 325 less a year) makes a huge difference.

Then the question becomes, well now the requirement for new houses has been reduced, can the existing greenbelt be protected from new housing development?

Well Wirral Council predicts over the next 15 years 1,100 new homes will be built on the Wirral Waters site.

So 7,167 – 1,100 = 6,067.

However Wirral Council also predict over the 15 year Local Plan period 750 demolitions, so 6,067 + 750 = 6,817.

Bringing empty homes back into use is expected to contribute 900 homes over the life of the Local Plan. So 6,817 – 900 = 5,917.

Conversions are expected to contribute 750 over the life of the Local Plan. So 5,917 – 750 = 5,167.

There are existing planning permissions for 1,959 houses that haven’t started yet (but are expected over the next 15 years). So 5,167 – 1959 = 3,208.

Wirral Council predict a further 3,201 houses will be built over the life of the Local Plan.

So yes, the requirement that comes at the end is 7 houses (over 15 years) that by Wirral Council’s own figures needed to be built in the green belt. The consultation however consults on building 4,794.

By the slightly lower figures used in Labour’s Notice of Motion to the next Wirral Council meeting on 15th October 2018 it’s a net housing requirement in the green belt of -5 (as they use 7,155 as the total figure (477 * 15) rather than 7,167).

This is of course a minimum figure, the reasons for using a higher figure by Wirral Council in the Local Plan would have to be justified.

The Conservative councillors, Lib Dem councillors and Green Party councillor on Wirral Council are opposed to using the green belt for housing. However two Labour councillors (Cllr George Davies and Cllr Phil Davies) have proposed and seconded this policy change to be discussed and decided upon at a public meeting of Wirral Council’s councillors on the evening of the 15th October 2018:

5. NEW ONS HOUSING PROJECTIONS (to be debated)

Proposed by Councillor George Davies
Seconded by Councillor Phil Davies

(1) Council notes the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published new data indicating that Wirral will require 7,155 new homes by 2035, and that this is a significant reduction from the original figure of 12,000 new homes derived from the Government’s national formula.

(2) Council recognises that this revised figure vindicates the view of the administration, councillors and many concerned residents that the original figure was too high and was leading to a miscalculation of housing needs which threatened Wirral’s Green Belt.

(3) Council further notes that the Leader of the Council had previously written to the minister arguing that the calculation was incorrect, and advocating that Wirral should not have to slavishly follow the Government’s national housebuilding formula and Council is currently awaiting confirmation from the Secretary of State that this new target more accurately reflects the housing needs of Wirral.

(4) In light of the new ONS figures, Council agrees that work on the Local Plan should proceed with the aim of delivering new homes on brownfield sites and avoiding development on Green Belt land.

 

A number of groups (Irby, Thurstaston & Pensby Amenity Society and Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces) handed out leaflets to people present at the meeting of the Wirral West Constituency Committee.

Copies of the leaflets are below.

1 Irby Thurstaton and Pensby Amenity Society leaflet page 1 of 1 Wirral Council greenbelt

1 Irby Thurstaton and Pensby Amenity Society leaflet page 1 of 1 Wirral Council greenbelt

2 Irby Thurstaton and Pensby Amenity Society leaflet page 1 of 2 Wirral Council greenbelt

2 Irby Thurstaton and Pensby Amenity Society leaflet page 1 of 2 Wirral Council greenbelt

3 Irby Thurstaton and Pensby Amenity Society leaflet page 2 of 2 Wirral Council greenbelt

3 Irby Thurstaton and Pensby Amenity Society leaflet page 2 of 2 Wirral Council greenbelt

4 Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces leaflet page 1 of 11

4 Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces leaflet page 1 of 11

5 Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces leaflet page 2 of 11

5 Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces leaflet page 2 of 11

6 Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces leaflet page 3 of 11

6 Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces leaflet page 3 of 11

7 Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces leaflet page 4 of 11

7 Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces leaflet page 4 of 11

8 Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces leaflet page 5 of 11

8 Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces leaflet page 5 of 11

9 Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces leaflet page 6 of 11

9 Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces leaflet page 6 of 11

10 Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces leaflet page 7 of 11

10 Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces leaflet page 7 of 11

11 Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces leaflet page 8 of 11

11 Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces leaflet page 8 of 11

12 Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces leaflet page 9 of 11

12 Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces leaflet page 9 of 11

13 Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces leaflet page 10 of 11

13 Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces leaflet page 10 of 11

14 Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces leaflet page 11 of 11

14 Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces leaflet page 11 of 11

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