Posted by: John Brace | 8th May 2019

Will 177 new houses be built near to Birkenhead North train station car park?

Will 177 new houses be built near to Birkenhead North train station car park?

                                          

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Beaufort Road Site – Wirral Council decision on housing (2nd May 2019)

Councillor George Davies (Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety) and Chair of the Birkenhead Constituency Committee 28th July 2016

Councillor George Davies (Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety) 28th July 2016

On election day, I filmed a series of short videos about political issues and decisions until the rain interrupted.

Above is video of the one house left standing after Wirral Council demolished the Council houses here between 2000 and 2003. Behind this house is the relatively recently constructed Birkenhead North train station car park.

Those will long memories will remember that across the road from this house was to be the site of the Merseyside Police Area Command Centre until that project was axed by the Merseyside Police Authority in February 2011 after their auditors questioned whether it would be value for money.

Since then the site has been an eyesore and attracted flytipping.

Homes England have offered Wirral Council a grant of £1,314,590 with Wirral Council deciding to spend an extra £175,000 in addition to this. This money will be used to make the construction of 177 homes here viable.

This is not part of the Wirral Waters site (the Wirral Waters site is the other side of Beaufort Road).

The Cabinet report states that Wirral Council can’t sell the site to a different developer due to its agreement with Keepmoat.

The decision was made by Cllr George Davies (Cabinet Member for Housing).

Cllr George Davies has previously declared a prejudicial interest the Keepmoat matters, stating in 2011 that his son worked for Brammall Construction Limited (which is one of the Keepmoat companies involved in constructing new houses).

Bramall Construction Limited also donated £2,000 to the Birkenhead Constituency Labour Party but in a statement deny that there is any link between the donation and the contract.

In a written statement Bramall Construction Limited stated, “In 2000 we entered into a partnering arrangement called the Tranmere Partnership with Riverside Housing Association, Maritime Housing Association & Consultants which carried out some major works in Tranmere.

As part of our commitment to working with the local community, we sponsored an event [ED – in 2004, not 2000] at Prenton Park which was organised by the local Labour Party. Like many other local firms [ED – although the Birkenhead Labour Party recorded no donations or sponsorship from others with the Electoral Commission at this event], we took a table of 12 and sponsored the night by putting three bottles of wine on each table. We viewed the event as putting something back into the local community. Our donation to this event was registered by the Labour Party.

In 2004/5 we put in a bid to carry our major repair works for Wirral Partnership Homes but we were unsuccessful. The work was awarded to two other contractors. In 2007 we understood that there was a contractual issue with one of the incumbent partner contractors and in line with the framework agreement were given the opportunity to express an interest in undertaking decent homes works. After following all of the required procurement procedures we were awarded a section of works. To suggest there is a link between our sponsoring of a Labour party organised event and the awarding of a contract of WPH [Ed – Wirral Council not WPH] is a very serious allegation which we strongly reject.”

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Responses

  1. Very sad that an alleged racist is still wielding such power. As the Tories are complicit in all this, let’s hope the Greens apply the brakes to the runaway train of corrupted hard right Labour decisions.

    • Exactly what do the Tories have to do with a decision made solely by the Cabinet Member for Housing Paul?

      • Take it as a general, non-specific observation John.

        That the alleged “opposition” Tories will continue to be complicit in the application of agreeable, Labour hard right policies that destroy Wirral.

        It’s obvious that there is very little for Ian Lewis and crowd to oppose.

        Twas ever thus under Jeff Green also, in the desperately dark years of abuse of vulnerable people. Chris Blakeley’s silence was deafening as his disabled Moreton constituents were savaged by Noone and Fowler.

        The only question that’s ever bothered Wirral Tory members is, “What’s not to like?”

  2. Why do they always get into contracts that later on down the line they can’t get out of?
    As for for building 177 new homes, i take it they will be little boxes with no where to park, as they already have a park and ride which over flows on to Beauford road, they need to sort that out first?

    • I’ve no idea what the layout will be like until the developer submits a planning application for them.

      However knowing the size of the site, it would be hard to imagine 177 houses, all with parking (although with the train station a few minutes walk away some living here may not need a car).

      You’re right that the car park for the station is well used, but the increase in use was partly while the West Kirby followed by the New Brighton lines were closed for platform works.

      Also part of the car park is closed off for a compound for the workers working on the platform works.

      But this is expected to be cleared away soon so in theory from Saturday there should be an extra ten car parking spaces.


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