Housing developers eye up Wirral green belt site

UNSPOILT green belt land on Wirral’s coastline is being targeted by an Isle of Man development company.

Campaigners say the Land Planning Group has acquired land, designated as green belt, between Leasowe Common and the Leasowe Castle Hotel on the north Wirral coast.

On its website the company, which was originally formed in Liverpool but now has headquarters in Douglas, refers to the proposed development of the 12.85 acre parcel of land as “Sea View Meadows”.

It says, if given the planning go ahead, the land “will be designed and landscaped to take full advantage of its golf course frontage and the outdoor lifestyle which is such a draw to this area”.

According to the chairman of Wallasey Conservative group, Ian Lewis, the company has been in negotiations with Wirral Council for three years about the potential development.

Mr Lewis said: “This is a shocking and unwelcome revelation.

“The land off Leasowe Road has been recognised for years as a vital part of Wirral’s green belt.

“Now, a little-known company has bought the land and is clearly intent on doing whatever it takes to persuade the council to allow housing on the site.

“Land Planning Group, frankly, need to be sent packing.

“We have seen too many green spaces disappear under housing in this borough as developers exploit the weaknesses in the planning system for their own advantage.”

Moratoriums exist in west and south Wirral against new development, leading to fears among some that property speculators are targeting the remaining areas of the borough.

On the company’s website, Land Planning Group says: “Sea View Meadows is to be an exclusive seafront residential development in the Liverpool City suburb of Leasowe.

“This 12.85 acre parcel of land is currently classified as green belt and is used for equestrian purposes with several unused outbuildings on the property, but LPG sees an opportunity to create a world class residential community which will set a new standard for the already high quality of life in the Wirral.”

According to Mr Lewis, the company started negotiations with Wirral Borough Council in 2005.

On its website the company says it was established in Liverpool in 1996 “to specialise in town planning, site-assembly, site-sourcing and property development”.

It says: “The group's extensive background and contacts has enabled LPG to acquire prime real estate throughout the UK in areas where future homes are in great demand.

“LPG currently commands a land bank that with planning permission will achieve a gross development value of over £200m.”

A Wirral Council spokesperson said: “Wirral Council is aware that a proposal for new housing between Leasowe Road and the Leasowe Embankment might be in the offing.

“The Land and Planning Group has sent preliminary details of their proposals and has asked that they are considered in the local development framework in due course.

“However to date, no planning application has been received and no decisions have been made on the future of the land, which is within the green belt. Currently, there are no proposals to review the status of this land.”

liverpooldailypost.co.uk, 11.02.2008

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