Local Plan Update & Other News

Local Plan for Wirral Borough

Wirral Council Local Plan Consultation

We learn Wirral Council has just put forward a timetable, which aims to see the authority approve the publication of its draft Local Plan in February 2021, to be followed by a further six weeks of public consultation.

We are told it will be the full draft Local Plan which the Council will submit to the Secretary of State for examination, and is the version that the Council will consider “sound” in terms of the Plan’s legal requirements.  If approved by the Council then the policies and proposals it contains will start to gain greater ‘weight’ in accordance with the current national planning  policies.

The Plan, if fully adopted by mid-202, will now cover the period 2020 to 2037, following its formal examination by a Government-appointed planning inspector, later next year.

The Council say that the ‘Issues and Options’ Consultation document released at the start of 2020, resulted in some 25, 000 comments were made by more than 1,700 individuals and organisations, including extensive submissions from this Society and CPRE. We are told all these comments are influencing the Plan’s development.

Cabinet member for the Local Plan, Cllr Anita Leech, said that Council proposes to speed up the plan’s development, as recent  changes in the planning regulations could result in an obligation to build even more new homes per year, which  would put more pressure on the Wirral Green Belt.

The Society is already concerned as whilst  the Council’s aims are sincere, it continues to allow itself to be put under unnecessary pressure to achieve a seemingly impossible housing target,  by not seeking any concessions provided for by Government.

Government White Paper on Planning

There’s been a lot in the national news about the Government’s proposed changes to the country’s planning laws, much of it quite alarming! We understand the Yorkshire CPRE branch have made a good video about the implications of the White Paper and its potential impact on the future of planning. We’ve included it here and it’s well worth 9 minutes of anyone’s time who is interested in the future of English planning law:

Who Remembers the Station Café at Thurstaston?

Thurstaston Aerial Photograph, 1945
The area known today as Wirral Country Park at Thursaston, but in 1945 when it was still being used as an air defence site.

We’ve had an enquiry about from Martin Clayton seeking information about the café which used to be located at the railway station in Thurstaston. Martin writes, as follows:

I wonder if you are able to help me. My mother’s family (Starkey) ran the Station Café at Thurstaston before, during and after the Second World War and I was wondering if anyone had any information whatsoever with regards to the Café during their ownership. My mother used to tell me stories of canoeing with her brother in a canvas canoe on the Dee before the Dee silted up; working in the Café and having to order extra ice cream from Liverpool (that was delivered within a few hours) to satisfy the needs of the ramblers in the summer; coal being thrown from the steam engines during the war to be used for personal consumption in the café; walking home from work (she worked for the Liverpool London and Globe Insurance Company in Hamilton Square, Birkenhead) across the fields and bumping into the cows which she could not see because it was pitch black; and the nearby anti aircraft guns supposedly firing for the first time on her 21st birthday (14th May 1943). As a side note the Commonwealth War Grave for Victor Feodor Lorisovitch Rougeault – Ceniave in Thurstaston Church refers to “Beloved Husband of Hazel….” Hazel was my mother’s elder sister. I look forward to hearing from you. All the best. Martin Clayton.


If anyone can help Martin please get in touch with us and we will pass on your details to him.

Wirral’s Rights of Way

Screenshot of the web-page displaying Wirral Council's Rights of Way map
Look out for the ‘Key and Layers’ menu…

We’ve been informed by Wirral Council’s Rights of Way Officer, Robin Tutchings, of the latest “long awaited” definitive map showing Wirral’s ‘official’ permissive routes and off-road cycle tracks.

The map is available to view on-line but make sure you use the hidden menu on the top left of the web-page to view the key! To the best of Robin’s knowledge the map is accurate, but if you have any suggestions for corrections then please contact Robin at robintutchings@gmail.com.

As we face a fresh period of ‘lockdown’ on Wirral, we wish you all our best wishes and good health for the autumn.

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