Environment

Have you say on Wirral’s Local Plan for house building

By Mary Wells

Wirral residents are being urged to give their views on the borough’s ‘Local Plan’.

The ‘Local Plan’ is the policy which guides how an area can be developed, and determines what can be built where and what land should be protected from development.

Wirral is required to identify a ‘suitable, available and deliverable’ supply of land to meet the housing needs of the next 15 years. These have been determined by Government ministers and mean Wirral must identify sufficient land for 800 new homes to be built every year for 15 years – at least 12,000 extra new homes by 2035.

Councillor George Davies, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for housing and planning, said: “Wirral must have a Local Plan. It is a legal duty, and the policy which guides and determines how our borough can be developed in the coming years. It is crucial our Local Plan is based on the unique needs and character of our borough, and the needs of our residents. Wirral residents must have their say on Wirral’s Local Plan.

“We know, and so do Government ministers, we do not have enough brownfield or urban land to enable that scale of house building and as a consequence we will have to consider releasing land from the Green Belt.

“I have written to every developer with a planning application in hand, urging them to start work on the homes they have permission to build. Many have responded positively and I hope they will work with the Council to build the homes Wirral residents need in the areas Wirral residents want to live.”

A consultation website has been created – wirral.gov.uk/localplan – which allows residents to give their views. A programme of public meetings is also scheduled throughout the borough. People can book places at the public meetings by visiting the website.

Councillor Davies continued: “Our hand is being forced. We will of course meet our legal obligations and develop a Local Plan. We have to review our Green Belt land and, while making any of those sites available for development will be our last resort, it has been made unequivocally clear to us that if we do not do it, it will be taken out of our hands.

“The Local Plan we develop will meets residents’ needs, and we will do everything we can to protect the special character of Wirral. This consultation is vital, and I hope every Wirral resident is able to get involved and make their voice heard.”