EXCLUSIVE: Wirral Council planning officer decides greenbelt site for Saughall Massie Fire Station is not “environmentally sensitive”

EXCLUSIVE: Wirral Council planning officer decides greenbelt site for Saughall Massie Fire Station is not “environmentally sensitive”

Dan Stephens (Chief Fire Officer) answers questions at a public consultation meeting in Saughall Massie to discuss proposals for a new fire station thumbnail

EXCLUSIVE: Wirral Council planning officer decides greenbelt site for Saughall Massie Fire Station is not “environmentally sensitive”

                                            

Dan Stephens (Chief Fire Officer) answers questions at a public consultation meeting in Saughall Massie to discuss proposals for a new fire station
Dan Stephens (Chief Fire Officer) answers questions at a public consultation meeting in Saughall Massie to discuss proposals for a new fire station

The author of this piece is the Appellant in a First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) case where Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority is the Second Respondent.

The first decision on the Saughall Massie Fire Station planning application has been made by Wirral Council in relation to the screening opinion.

In a decision letter dated 17th August 2016, a Wirral Council planning officer has decided that despite the site bordering a conservation area and also (although it’s not mentioned in the decision letter) the fact the plans include fuel storage, that an Environmental Impact Assessment is not required as the site is not considered “environmentally sensitive”.

This is despite Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2011 listing the following as one the factors that should make a site "environmentally sensitive" and therefore require an environmental impact assessment,

“6 Chemical industry (unless included in Schedule 1)

(c) Storage facilities for petroleum, petrochemical and chemical products.

(i) The area of any new building or structure exceeds 0.05 hectare; or
(ii) more than 200 tonnes of petroleum, petrochemical or chemical products is to be stored at any one time.”

The site plan clearly shows a fuel store (presumably for storing petrol and/or diesel for refuelling the fire engines.

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