Van hire company set to use key regeneration site instead of seafront for parking

A van hire company has agreed not to park its vehicles on a Wirral road after it was criticised for taking over a popular visitor destination.

Wirral Council has agreed “a course of action” with West Wallasey Van Hire (WWVH) with final details being hashed out for it to use vacant council land earmarked for regeneration in Wallasey for two years. As part of this, WWVH will agree not to use public highways to park its vehicles.

Vehicles linked to WWVH have been seen parked on Kings Parade in Wallasey in recent months leading to widespread anger on social media.

Councillors accused the company of “using high profile locations” and expecting people “to put up with losing car parking at a key location.”

The van hire company, based on Cross Lane, had hoped to expand its operations onto neighbouring land previously used by Mosslands School as its playing fields but this was voted down by councillors concerned about flooding, traffic, and the loss of a large green space.

Different plans for the site were brought forward in 2022 by WWVH but these were later postponed.

A Wirral Council spokesperson said, “Wirral Council and West Wallasey Van Hire have agreed a course of action to ensure that the vehicles they have currently parked up on King’s Parade in New Brighton are able to be relocated to an off-road location as soon as possible.

“While the vehicles were parked legally, the presence of so many commercial vehicles occupying car parking spaces on the public highway is clearly not reasonable or sustainable. 

“Details are currently being finalised for the company to take a two-year commercial lease of council land in Wallasey which is currently vacant but earmarked for redevelopment. As part of this agreement, West Wallasey has agreed not to use the public highway as parking areas for their vehicles as this site – alongside other sites it has use of – should provide the capacity they require.

“Discussions on identifying a suitable longer-term site that can accommodate the company’s current needs and future growth forecasts are ongoing.”

Image: GOOGLE

The LDRS previously received reports the van hire company was in discussion with the council about being able to use land near Lime Kiln Lane that is part of its Northside regeneration plans for Seacombe.

Plans are for a number of businesses to be relocated to Northside that may be displaced by the local authority’s ambitious regeneration plans elsewhere in Birkenhead and Wallasey.

In December 2023, Cllr Stuart Kelly questioned Wirral Council leader Paul Stuart on the future use of land near Lime Kiln Lane asking whether it would be used to move the council’s depot at Cleveland Street, an area of land designated for the development of 1,000 new homes.

Cllr Paul Stuart said the council was “undertaking a strategic review of its future requirements for council depots.” In response, Cllr Kelly said, “That was the original plan in the Birkenhead 2040 vision document and I’m surprised to hear that’s now not front and centre on the agenda for that area.

“We can’t regenerate Cleveland Street until we remove some of the businesses and the depot from that area. Why don’t we have a date to relocate them and why can’t we say whether we’re actually going to?”

In response, Cllr Stuart said there was “no date set in stone with regards to the relocation and decanting of any local businesses until we have a plan in place for where they’re going to go and when they need that land.”

West Wallasey Van Hire was approached for comment.

Image: Vans parked on Kings Parade over a weekend in January 2024. Credit: Ian Lewis

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