Despite objections on highways and ecology grounds did Liverpool City Council’s Planning Committee approve a planning application for 48 dwellings in Wavertree?

Despite objections on highways and ecology grounds did Liverpool City Council’s Planning Committee approve a planning application for 48 dwellings in Wavertree?

Despite objections on highways and ecology grounds did Liverpool City Council’s Planning Committee approve a planning application for 48 dwellings in Wavertree?

                                         

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Planning Committee (Liverpool City Council) 3rd April 2018 Part 1 of 2

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Planning Committee (Liverpool City Council) 3rd April 2018 Part 2 of 2

Cllr Lawrence Brown objecting to a planning application on highways and ecological grounds 3rd May 2018 Planning Committee Liverpool City Council
Cllr Lawrence Brown objecting to a planning application on highways and ecological grounds 3rd May 2018 Planning Committee Liverpool City Council

Yesterday morning, I went to my first Planning Committee meeting of Liverpool City Council at Liverpool Town Hall (which you can watch in the video clips above).

Unfortunately I forgot to pick up the bag with the tripod in it when we got to the train station, so filmed only the first forty-five minutes without a tripod (which covered two planning applications).

At the start there was a minute of silence due to the recent death of Cllr John McIntosh.
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Why did over a hundred residents go to a Planning Committee site visit on the Saughall Massie fire station proposal?

Why did over a hundred residents go to a Planning Committee site visit on the Saughall Massie fire station proposal?

                                         

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Planning Committee (Wirral Council) site visit (APP/17/00306) Saughall Massie fire station, land adjacent to Saughall Massie Road 18th July 2017

Planning Committee (Wirral Council) site visit Saughall Massie APP/17/00306 18th July 2017
Planning Committee (Wirral Council) site visit Saughall Massie APP/17/00306 18th July 2017

In a grassy field on a summer morning, Wirral Council’s Planning Committee met to visit the site for a proposed fire station in Saughall Massie on Wirral Council owned land just off Saughall Massie Road.

Many local residents and two of the three local councillors (Cllr Bruce Berry and Cllr Steve Williams) were there to observe what happened on the site visit.

There were many with placards opposing the planning application for greenbelt reasons.

Cllr Eddie Boult turned up much earlier for the site visit than the other councillors on the Planning Committee.

Cllr Anita Leech, Chair of the Planning Committee opened the site visit and explained the purpose of the site visit and the procedure that would be followed. She asked a planning officer (Matthew Parry-Davies) to introduce the planning application. Unfortunately Matthew’s voice wasn’t very loud.

Matthew Parry-Davies (who works in Wirral Council’s planning department) explained that the revised planning application was for “a single storey two bay community fire station”.

He explained that access to the fire station (if planning permission was granted) would be from Saughall Massie Road. Mr Parry-Davies described the distances to the nearest properties on two different sides of the site.

The footprint of the proposed building and site perimeter had already been pegged out (both the footprint and the building had been reduced compared to the original planning application). The orientation had also been changed. The generator and sprinkler had been relocated and the training tower had been moved too.

Cllr Anita Leech (Chair of the Planning Committee) asked if any of the Planning Committee had any questions.

Cllr Eddie Boult asked for the differences in distance to adjoining properties between the original planning application and revised planning application. Matthew Parry-Davies answered.

Cllr Steve Foulkes asked if there would still be access to the rest of the site for the general public.

Cllr Treena Johnson asked questions about the retractable tower and its height when down and up. Matthew Parry-Davies answered her questions.

Cllr Anita Leech asked how long it would take to put up and down.

Cllr David Elderton answered with how often it would be up.

Cllr Anita Leech (Chair of the Planning Committee) asked if any ward councillors for the area had any questions.

Cllr Steve Williams (a councillor for Moreton West and Saughall Massie ward) pointed out the distance between the perimeter and nearby houses.

Cllr Anita Leech (Chair of the Planning Committee) asked Colin Schofield of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service to confirm which tape and posts marked the site boundary. He did.

Cllr Anita Leech (Chair of the Planning Committee) confirmed that the blue posts were the site boundary and the red posts were for the building.

Cllr Bruce Berry (a councillor for Moreton West and Saughall Massie ward) asked a question about car parking and asked how vehicles would go on and off the site.

Matthew Parry-Daives answered him.

The Chair of the Planning Committee asked if any ward councillors had any more questions to ask?

Cllr Steve Williams (a councillor for Moreton West and Saughall Massie ward) asked if there would be any controlled burning on the site.

The Chair of the Planning Committee referred to a planning condition in relation to this.

She then asked if anyone else wanted to point out anything “of significance”?

Various residents asked questions or made points about flooding, traffic issues, the site of the generator, vehicles leaving and entering the site, site levels, where fire engines were called out to, traffic, residential amenity and where the optimal position for a fire station to replace West Kirby and Upton was.

Cllrs Eddie Boult and Cllr Steve Foulkes (both on the Planning Committee) made further points.

The site visit ended with the Chair, Cllr Anita Leech thanking everyone for their attendance.

Pictures below this article are photos of the green belt site and people present for the site visit.

Wirral Council’s Planning Committee will meet to decide on planning application (APP/17/00306) for a fire station on land (owned by Wirral Council) adjacent to Saughall Massie Road in Saughall Massie at a public meeting starting at 6.00 pm on the 20th July 2017 in the Civic Hall, first floor, Wallasey Town Hall, Brighton Street, Seacombe, CH44 8ED.

Cllr Eddie Boult (foreground) at the site visit of Wirral Council’s Planning Committee to Saughall Massie 18th July 2017
Cllr Eddie Boult (foreground) at the site visit of Wirral Council’s Planning Committee to Saughall Massie 18th July 2017

Continue reading “Why did over a hundred residents go to a Planning Committee site visit on the Saughall Massie fire station proposal?”

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service recommend councillors on Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority appeal refusal of planning permission for Saughall Massie Fire Station to Planning Inspectorate

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service recommend councillors on Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority appeal refusal of planning permission for Saughall Massie Fire Station to Planning Inspectorate

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service recommend councillors on Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority appeal refusal of planning permission for Saughall Massie Fire Station to Planning Inspectorate

Planning Committee meeting (Wirral Council) 15th December 2016 councillors voting to refuse planning permission for a fire station at Saughall Massie L to R Cllr Pat Cleary, Cllr Stuart Kelly, Cllr Ian Lewis, Cllr Kathy Hodson, Cllr Eddie Boult, Cllr David Elderton
Planning Committee meeting (Wirral Council) 15th December 2016 councillors voting to refuse planning permission for a fire station at Saughall Massie L to R Cllr Pat Cleary, Cllr Stuart Kelly, Cllr Ian Lewis, Cllr Kathy Hodson, Cllr Eddie Boult, Cllr David Elderton

Last month councillors on Wirral Council’s Planning Committee rejected (by 7 votes in favour of refusal to 6 votes against refusal) a planning application for a fire station in Saughall Massie on land in the greenbelt on land off Saughall Massie Road.

Following the refusal of planning permission (on grounds of impact on residential amenity and on the greenbelt), a recommendation has been made by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service to councillors on the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority (who will meet in public) next Thursday afternoon (26th January 2017) to appeal the refusal of planning permission to the Planning Inspectorate and to submit a revised planning application.

The report to councillors on Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority criticises what ward councillor Councillor Chris Blakeley said at the Planning Committee meeting last month. The criticism relates to remarks the councillor made at the meeting about Upton Fire Station being a “fall-back” position, comments about the impact of a new fire station at Saughall Massie would have both on Arrowe Park Hospital and also what Cllr Blakleley stated about response times.

If the recommendation is approved by councillors on the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority the costs of producing the documentation for a revised planning application are estimated in the report as “in the region of £56,000” (which would include a detailed lighting impact assessment). The costs of legal advice, preparation and representation for an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate are estimated to cost between £36,500 and £49,000.

The item is the last item on the agenda (item 9) and is expected to be held in public starting at 1.00 pm on the 26th January 2017 in the Liverpool Suite, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters, Bridle Rd, Bootle, L30 4YD.

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Why did hundreds of residents go to a Planning Committee site visit on the Saughall Massie fire station proposal?

Why did hundreds of residents go to a Planning Committee site visit on the Saughall Massie fire station proposal?

Why did hundreds of residents go to a Planning Committee site visit on the Saughall Massie fire station proposal?

                                         

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Planning Committee (Wirral Council) site visit (APP/16/00985) Saughall Massie fire station, land adjacent to Saughall Massie Road

Planning Committee site visit to land off Saughall Massie Road 13th December 2016 Left Cllr Steve Foulkes Right Cllr Anita Leech Chair-min
Planning Committee site visit to land off Saughall Massie Road 13th December 2016 Left Cllr Steve Foulkes (Planning Committee) Right Cllr Anita Leech (Chair, Planning Committee)

In a muddy field on a cold winter morning, Wirral Council’s Planning Committee met to visit the site for a proposed fire station in Saughall Massie on Wirral Council owned land just off Saughall Massie Road.

Many local residents and the three local councillors (Cllr Chris Blakeley, Cllr Bruce Berry and Cllr Steve Williams) were there to observe what happened on the site visit.

The only person there with a placard in favour of the planning application was vastly outnumbered by those with placards opposing the planning application for greenbelt reasons.

Cllr Anita Leech, Chair of the Planning Committee opened the site visit by apologising for being late and explained the purpose of the site visit and the procedure that would be followed. She asked a planning officer to introduce the planning application.

Matthew Parry-Davies (who works in Wirral Council’s planning department) explained that the planning application was for “a single storey two bay community fire station”.

He explained that access to the fire station (if planning permission was granted) would be from Saughall Massie Road. Mr Parry-Davies described the distances to the nearest properties on two different sides of the site.

The outline of the proposed building had been pegged out. A question was asked of Mr Parry-Davies as to where vehicles would exit and enter the proposed fire station.

Cllr Anita Leech (Chair of the Planning Committee) asked if any ward councillors for the area had any questions.

Cllr Chris Blakeley (a councillor for Moreton West and Saughall Massie ward) pointed out that the pegs that were laid out were for the building only, not the curtilage of the site.

Therefore the area of the pegs didn’t include the training area or car park and that if the pegs had been put round whole of the proposed development it would appear much bigger.

There was applause for Cllr Chris Blakeley from many of the residents.

Once the applause had died down, he pointed out that the nearby properties were sheltered accommodation. He referred to a survey of the people in the sheltered accommodation which had shown 85% opposed to the planning application.

Cllr Blakeley received more applause.

The Chair of the Planning Committee asked if any councillors on the Planning Committee wanted to ask questions.

A question was asked by Cllr Kathy Hodson and an answer was given by Matthew Parry-Davies.

After another point was made, Matthew Parry-Davies pointed out that the pegs marked out the footprint of the building. He added that there were different pegs that showed the outline of the site proposed.

The Chair then asked Members of the Planning Committee to look at the boundaries of the site that were in the planning application.

Moving away, the Planning Committee discussed the proposed development around the building, such as the car park. There was a lot of pointing at this point. Distances and elevations were referred to by Mr Parry-Davies.

After more discussion and pointing the Planning Committee returned to its original spot.

The site visit ended with the Chair, Cllr Anita Leech thanking everyone for their attendance and that she may see some of them on Thursday evening.

Pictures below this article are of the green belt site, banners and people present for the site visit.

Wirral Council’s Planning Committee will meet to decide on planning application (APP/16/00985) for a fire station on land (owned by Wirral Council) adjacent to Saughall Massie Road in Saughall Massie at a public meeting starting at 6.00 pm on the 15th December 2016 in the Civic Hall, first floor, Wallasey Town Hall, Brighton Street, Seacombe, CH44 8ED.

photo 1 Land off Saughall Massie Road Saughall Massie 13th December 2016
photo 1 Land off Saughall Massie Road Saughall Massie 13th December 2016

Continue reading “Why did hundreds of residents go to a Planning Committee site visit on the Saughall Massie fire station proposal?”

Decision on controversial planning application APP/16/00985 (Saughall Massie Fire Station) delayed as councillors call for change of venue, site visit, special meeting & more transparency

Decision on controversial planning application APP/16/00985 (Saughall Massie Fire Station) delayed as councillors call for change of venue, site visit, special meeting & more transparency

Decision on controversial planning application APP/16/00985 (Saughall Massie Fire Station) delayed as councillors call for change of venue, site visit, special meeting & more transparency

                                             

Wirral Council’s Planning Committee meeting held on the 10th November 2016 was standing room only because of the planning application about a fire station at Saughall Massie (APP/16/00985)

Wirral Council’s Planning Committee meeting held on the 10th November 2016 was standing room only because of the planning application about a fire station at Saughall Massie (APP/16/00985)

Updated on 30th November 2016 and the 11th December 2016 by JB: The site visit is scheduled for 11 am on the 13th December 2016. Contrary to what was said at the Planning Committee meeting reported below, the Planning Committee will then meet in the Civic Hall (1st floor) at Wallasey Town Hall, Brighton Street, Seacombe, CH44 8ED on the 15th December 2016 starting at 6.00 p.m. in order to decide on this planning application.

Last night’s Planning Committee at Wirral Council was another event in the long running political saga that is the attempts to start a new fire station at Saughall Massie and close Upton Fire Station and West Kirby Fire Station.

Committee Rooms 1 and 2 which were the venue for the Planning Committee at Wallasey Town Hall were both full (standing room only as you can see from the picture above) and Committee Room 3 in another part of the building was being used as an overflow.

Dan Stephens QFSM (Chief Fire Officer for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service/Chief Executive for the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority) was looking very smartly dressed in what I will describe as his ceremonial uniform. He was there with what I will describe as an entourage of people from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service including Ria Groves (Trainee Solicitor) and Colin Schofield (PFI Project Manager (part of his job is to manage the Saughall Massie Fire Station project)). Dan Stephens QFSM and his entourage stood near the door.

Also present were the three local councillors for Moreton West and Saughall Massie ward (Cllr Chris Blakeley, Cllr Steve Williams and Cllr Bruce Berry). They have opposed this planning application along with groups such as the Saughall Massie Village Conservation Area Society and the Wirral Society.

The vocal and public disagreements about this political issue between Cllr Chris Blakeley and Dan Stephens QFSM are mainly already on the public record, well documented and have been reported on by myself before and others, so I’m not going to rehash in detail the rather long history of the matter here.

I will briefly state however that Wirral Council withdrew its offer of land for this at Greasby which is what led to Saughall Massie being proposed. The effect of that is it has given some people hope that people power can overturn the previous cross-party political consensus behind it.

Also I had better point out that there was a rather long running First-tier Tribunal case in which I was the Appellant about the financial breakdown of expenditure for the new fire station first at Greasby, then Saughall Massie.

Present at the Planning Committee was Alan Rundle who had exchanged letters with Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority about a proposed judicial review before the Greasby plans were abandoned for very similar issues to those that the First-tier Tribunal (in case EA/162016/160054) covered.

However in summary, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority have estimated £300,000* to pay Wirral Council for the land and an estimated £550,000 from the sale of the fire stations at Upton and West Kirby. To build a new fire station will cost an estimated £3.7 million (I’m not including the figure for the land in that), with £1.5 million offset by a government grant. The complete capital cost breakdown was not made public prior to the two twelve-week consultations (first on Greasby, then on Saughall Massie) that Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service ran on Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority’s behalf.

* estimates were made for sale and purchase prices in 2015

For those who were turned away from the Planning Committee meeting (which was also what happened at some of the consultation meetings) video I took of last night’s Planning Committee meeting is below. However as the Saughall Massie Fire Station planning application has attracted a certain degree of public interest I include a transcript of what was said at the meeting on the matter below too.

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Planning Committee (Wirral Council) 10th November 2016 Part 1 of 4 (the discussion on the Saughall Massie Fire Station planning application APP/16/00985 starts at 4:26)

The discussion starts at agenda item 3 (site visits) which starts at the 4m:26s point in the video above.

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):        OK, are there any requests for site visits? Steve?

CLLR STEVE FOULKES:        Errm Chair, sorry with your indulgence and err errm with some trepidation, errm I’d like to move site visits on two sites errm.

The least err controversial one I think might be item 13 which is err Pipistrelle Rise which is well-known to Planning Committee and has one with a varied planning history, it’s a very unusual site given it’s site levels. So I’d therefore request that we have a site visit before we make any decision on that matter.

[5:00]

The next one is errm item 9, which is the err fire station, as you referred to Chair. I think it’s fairly obvious to any elected Member the level of concern and the public interest in this debate and I think it would be better for all elected Members who are making that decision to be forewarned, forearmed with an actual site visit and the layout of the area.

Secondly I think it will be plenty of time for us to get arrange as they said in Jaws, “I think we need a bigger boat!” Err, I think we need a bigger room, if we can arrange that in time for the next err meeting it would make it better for the public to engage with us.

I don’t expect people to be in a standing position for any length of time, I find it errm, it is of a matter of great public interest that we do have a site visit. I’m hoping errm, if we have brought you out on a winter’s night for to no avail, but it’s not unusual that applications of this type to have a site visit, so I will move a site visit on that matter.

CLLR IAN LEWIS:         Chair?

[6:00]

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         OK, can I take you first?

CLLR IAN LEWIS:         Chair, I endorse what Councillor Foulkes has said, but particularly in terms of where we have the meeting next time to discuss the fire application, can I suggest that we try and find a venue in Moreton/Saughall Massie to allow as many people as possible in that area to attend?

*LOUD CHEERING AND APPLAUSE*

CLLR IAN LEWIS:         Can I explain why Chair just for a moment? Clearly the number of people here tonight would be you know they’ve come along to take part in the democratic process to see how they make a decision.

There will be other people in that area, who haven’t been able to get here.

To drag everybody, these people again late December, can I propose we try and find a venue nearer to the site to consider this application, as an exceptional application?

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         I think you know the only thing that I would say you know and I totally agree with what you’re saying there and if we can do that we should but in terms of we need to have the right systems in place, wherever it’s going to be.

We need to have the visual and the sound system, if we could find a venue

[7:00]

that will support that, then I’m happy for it to be there.

CLLR IAN LEWIS:         OK, thank you very much.

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         We may actually need to consider whether it’s a one item agenda,

CLLR IAN LEWIS:         Yes, ok.

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         as well so we will look into that. So we’ll see if we can find a venue, that is suitable and if we can then we will move it to that area.

CLLR IAN LEWIS:         OK, thanks Chair.

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         David?

CLLR DAVID ELDERTON:         Yeah thanks Chair, just to endorse I totally support it, the move to

MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC:         We can’t hear you!

CLLR DAVID ELDERTON:         controversial development, which will give a full opportunity for people to see

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         David, David, sorry David could you start again?

CLLR DAVID ELDERTON:         Apologies for that, errm I totally endorse the move by Councillor Foulkes to have the site visit for number nine. It is essential that we get the widest possible publicity and transparency ‌in making sure we end up with the right decision. So I do endorse that.

My quick reason for speaking at this time of course is to ask for a site visit on item twelve, which is Stone Hive, Darmonds Green, West Kirby. That is it looks a simple site in

[8:00]

terms of the application agenda we’ve got but it’s far more complex than it would appear on paper. So no doubt we will benefit from having a site visit for that particular development before we make a decision to approve or refuse it. Thank you Chair.

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):        OK, are there any others? OK, if I could just read those three out that have been requested and get Committee’s approval?

MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC:         Excuse me, can I ask a question?

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         Sorry no you can’t ask.

MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC:         It’s just about site visits.

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         If I don’t cover it, then I’m sure we’ll get someone to cover the answer for you, but I may very well cover it in a moment for you.

MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC:         Can I just mention the site visit, …

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         I’m sorry, I’m sorry, if, I’m sorry can I, can you just listen to what I’m about to say and then if it’s not covered then we’ll get somebody to cover it for you.

MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC:         OK.

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         Agenda item 9 which is land adjacent to Saughall Massie Road, errm agenda item 12, which is Stone Hive, Darmonds Green, West Kirby and agenda item

[9:00]

13 Pipistrelle Rise, Noctorum. Are the Committee happy to have all those as site visits?

COUNCILLORS:         Absolutely.

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):        can I suggest that we have a site visit on Tuesday 13th of December? And we’ll meet at the Town Hall at 10 am?

MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC:         What time?

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         There’s, we will be meeting at 10am and then going to the various sites, so there will be a different time allocated for each of these sites. It’s normally twenty minutes to half an hour for each site, depending on how long we’ve got to travel, but it will be publicised and the agents will be advised of exactly what time that will be.

And the ward councillors will be also be advised.

CLLR CHRIS BLAKELEY:         Chair, can I just raise a point to raise what’s been raised by Councillor Lewis, if you’re going to use a one item agenda for the fire station at a err location nearer to the site, in Saughall Massie, will the site visit

[10:00]

still be on the 13th? And will the meeting then, when will the meeting be?

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         Err, well we don’t know all of that detail at the moment so, Councillor Blakeley because we don’t know whether we’ll be moving the venue, whether it will be a one item agenda, so as soon as we are aware of that we will make it known.

CLLR CHRIS BLAKELEY:         Thank you Chair.

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         OK, thank you. As the lady was asking the question, has your question been covered?

MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC:         Can I, I think if we do have a meeting whether here or Saughall Massie, we’ll be doing comparisons with the Upton fire station and I don’t know about West Kirby, but certainly it refers to Upton so maybe we should consider visiting both of those, if you’re able to ..?

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         We can only consider the one application, which is before us I’m afraid.

MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC:         OK.

CLLR ANITA LEECH (CHAIR):         Thank you for your comment. Anybody who would like to leave now, please feel free to do so because we will not be discussing those items this evening and thank you for your attendance.

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