An appeal against a decision by Wirral Council to prevent development impacting Green Belt in Wirral has been withdrawn by Leverhulme estates.
The applicant, Leverhulme, has given notice that it will no longer be pursuing the appeal, which was due to be heard later this year.
It follows the decision last week by a Planning Inspector to refuse seven earlier applications affecting Green Belt land in the borough.
The latest decision has been welcomed by the leader of the council, Cllr Paul Stuart, who said it was a “sensible decision.”
Cllr Stuart said, “The Planning Inspector was very clear in backing the council’s decision to block development of the Green Belt and I am pleased to see now that the developer has heeded that and will no longer go ahead with this appeal.
“Defending these decisions in a Public Inquiry is time-consuming, expensive, and diverts council staff from other duties.
“The council has made it clear that safeguarding the green belt is a priority for us and will continue to be so. Leverhulme’s decision is welcome and a sensible decision, especially given the huge public opposition to the plans.
“This decision means we can continue to focus on delivering our Local Plan and will make a massive difference to our ongoing efforts in protecting the Green Belt, whilst also meeting the housing and regeneration needs and wishes of our borough’s residents.”
Nigel McGurk, Head of Planning and Development for Leverhulme, said, “Further to last week’s Inspector’s decisions, it is clear that addressing the matters relating to Wirral’s absence of a deliverable Local Plan is the immediate priority for Leverhulme in providing much needed new homes.
“The decision to withdraw Leverhulme’s appeal regarding Wirral Council’s refusal of its Greasby application is in line with this position. While we are disappointed not to be able to pursue this appeal at this stage, Leverhulme will continue to work with others to highlight the urgent need for the delivery of housing in Wirral, where there has been little sign of a viable, deliverable Local Plan for decades.
“Leverhulme will also be reviewing the Inspector’s appeal decisions over the coming weeks, considering various options.
“We remain fully committed to playing our part in addressing Wirral’s acute housing shortage – especially family and affordable homes – in a realistic and deliverable manner.”
Image credit: Ed Barnes/LDRS