Posted by: John Brace | 27 October 2020

Wirral Council councillors dismiss environmental concerns of residents over proposed £820,000 sale of land in Upton for new LIDL supermarket

Wirral Council councillors dismiss environmental concerns of residents over proposed £820,000 sale of land in Upton for new LIDL supermarket

                                    

Policy and Resources Committee (Wirral Council) 7th October 2020

Policy and Resources Committee (Wirral Council) 7th October 2020

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Policy and Resources Committee (Wirral Council) Public Statements, Statements and Petitions, Questions by Members and Sale of Land at Arrowe Park Road, Upton

By John Brace (Editor) and Leonora Brace (Co-Editor)

First publication date: 27th October 2020, 15:56 (GMT).

On 7th October 2020 Wirral Council’s Policy and Resources Committee (see video above) in a vote that was 14 councillors for and 2 against conditionally agreed to sell open space in Upton to Lidl for £820,000 (two of the conditions being planning permission granted by Wirral Council for a Lidl supermarket and car park as well as the outcome of consultations on the loss of the open space and footpaths).

At the meeting a number of people explained their reasons for objecting to the sale ranging from traffic, the loss of green space to the impact of a new supermarket on traders and businesses in Upton Village.

Since that decision a petition objecting to the sale of the land has been started which at the time of writing has attracted 555 signatures.

Previously, under Wirral Council’s Flexible Use of Capital Receipts Policy Wirral Council has used money from such sales to pay for early retirement costs and agency staff.

However councillors on the Policy and Resources Committee agreed that a report should come back to a future meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee recommending that a small amount from the capital receipt (if the sale goes ahead) should be ringfenced to support local projects.

The land Wirral Council owns is subject to two covenants, the one with Wirral Partnership Homes Limited (who trade as Magenta Living) was discussed during the meeting, however at least one councillor on the Committee stated that councillors were not made aware of a second covenant.

The second covenant from 1919 stated, “that no part or parts of the same lands nor any erection or building for the time being thereon respectively shall be used or devoted for or to any of the purposes last aforesaid or any other trade, business or purpose which shall produce or occasion much noise or smoke or any noxious or disagreeable vapours or smells or be otherwise injurious to the neighbourhood”.

The part of the site proposed to be sold to Lidl would form part of the car park and its use as a car park would appear to be in breach of this covenant. However if a successful application was made to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) then covenants can be removed.

The site Lidl plan for a supermarket and car park include the adjacent Upton Fire Station and also two houses on Arrowe Park Road.

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Responses

  1. I assume MFRS/MFRA own the old fire station land and have sold that to Lidl?

    If that’s the case then it would sound like both parties are working together again to expedite a plan none of the local people want! Saughall Massie fire station pt.2!

    • Thanks for your comment. An amount of £1.1 million appears in the accounts of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority in I think from memory quarter 3 of 2019-2020 as a capital receipt from Lidl for Upton Fire Station, but MFRS state the amount doesn’t depend on planning permission (make of that what you will).

  2. If Lidl employ people its a no brainer, permission will be given, i wish they would build one down in Seacombe so we can get rid of the over charging Tesco store here

    • Thanks for your comment.

  3. As was pointed out to Wirral Council before the Lidl store on Oxton Road was approved, the company does not recognise trade unions. What kind of Labour council collaborates with that? Supermarkets may create jobs but only at the price of jobs and businesses destroyed elsewhere.. This is set to be yet another environmental, economic and ethical scandal.

    • Thanks for your comments.

      That’s a bit like one of the arguments against councils outsourcing. If councils (or other local government bodies) outsource services that they can provide themselves, a part of the money for that service ends up (generally)as dividends for the person or persons owning the organisation it is outsourced to rather than directly spent on providing the service, which doesn’t happen if the council provides the service itself (also saving the money the council spent on employees to manage the contract and the costs of tendering regularly for contracts).

  4. This sale / development goes against many of the Council’s policies including those on air quality and climate change. The Council’s plan was to make Upton village a ‘thriving’ place ‘like never before’ It will have ‘an improved high street providing choice and convenience in retail and services which will be at the heart of the unique Upton village offer’. This plan has been abandoned for hard cash and exposed as inconsequential and insincere film flam.


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