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