Leverhulme appeals rejection of planning permission for 240 houses on Greasby greenbelt

A controversial developer has made a final push to see 240 homes built on greenbelt land.

Leverhulme Estate has confirmed it’s appealed a unanimous decision by councillors to reject 240 homes being built near Greasby.

The homes would be built on Appleby’s or Greenhouse Farm by Leverhulme and are part of major plans that could see nearly 8,000 homes built.

However, the site could potentially have archaeological importance having been described as “6,000 years older than Stonehenge” with Roman pottery, coins, and even a Stone Age blade found there.

The Greasby application is one of eight applications in the first stage of plans to build more than 1,000 homes. These have faced significant hurdles with opposition from thousands, huge protests, and all its planning applications rejected by Wirral Council.

Despite many being against the developments, Leverhulme appealed seven applications in January 2023 with a major inquiry over several weeks. A decision following the inquiry is expected in September.

Leverhulme didn’t appeal the eighth application in Greasby until after the inquiry finished despite the plans being rejected in February several months before the inquiry began. When asked why they appealed now, Leverhulme did not respond.

According to Labour councillor Mark Skillicorn, Leverhulme has requested a seven-day public inquiry to the Planning Inspectorate, a government body that oversees planning appeals.

Leverhulme said the 240 homes would include 72 affordable properties with a mix of flats, homes, and bungalows as well as a new community park and walking and cycling routes. Away from the development, Leverhulme plans to expand woodland in Greasby as well as create new habitats on its land elsewhere.

Nigel McGurk from Leverhulme, said, “This latest appeal will also continue to put the spotlight on the long-standing failure by Wirral Council to address the borough’s housing crisis.

“Leverhulme supports deliverable regeneration but the success of Wirral Council’s regeneration strategy remains contingent on the availability of enormous public subsidies and cheap development funding, regardless of economic realities.

“By contrast, Leverhulme’s proposals are fully deliverable and would ensure multiple other benefits in ways that no other proposal in Wirral can.”

When asked why Leverhulme had waited more than five months before appealing, the developer did not respond for comment.

Greasby Cllr Mark Skillicorn said, “While not good news, we were actually expecting this and we are prepared. Officers are working on the issue already and liaising with local councillors and community groups to ensure we have the best response possible.

“As a local councillor, I can assure everyone that we are determined to fight to protect Greasby, Frankby and Irby and the rest of Wirral’s precious greenbelt.”

Conservative group leader in Wirral Cllr Jeff Green said, “Building on our Green Belt and green spaces is unacceptable to residents, to councillors and, we hope, the Planning Inspectorate.

“We have worked for the last four years to produce a Local Plan that rejected Labour’s previous support to build on our Green Belt. It’s about time that Leverhulme Estates read the room and got the message.”

Image: The plans have prompted widespread protests. Credit: Ed Barnes

Why not follow birkenhead.news on Facebook, Twitter, and Threads? You can also send story ideas to news@birkenhead.news

Share this

Subscribe to our FREE newsletter

Facebook comments

Latest news