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West Wirral masterplan shelved
A WEST Wirral master plan designed to raise the profile of coastal towns Hoylake and West Kirby, has hit the buffers, a report has revealed.
Consultants brought in by Wirral Council submitted their ideas in 2004.
They included the creation of a new town square in front of West Kirby Concourse, a new commercial development, improvements to the station and shops fronting it and a new doctors’ surgery.
A development brief was drawn up with the aim of attracting private investment, but the council marked time on the decision and economic difficulties prevented further progress on the options outlined in the plan.
A report to next week's meeting of Wirral planning committee – related to the proposed construction of 48 apartments and a health centre in Bridge Road, West Kirby – acknowledges that the regeneration blueprint had been effectively shelved.
Planners observed: "While the master plan set out a broad visions it was not intended as a blueprint.
"It was made clear that further public consultation, feasibility and design work would be necessary to realise any projects.
"The redevelopment scheme options proposed by the master plan are understood to have been effectively shelved, the last activity being around four years ago."
Wirral Council regeneration chief Cllr Pat Hackett said: "Since the master plan was produced the economic situation both nationally and locally has changed.
"This has meant that previous plans have had to be reviewed in the light of new circumstances.
"The council however continues to seek ways of attracting private sector investment to Wirral and our pro-active approach - with our plans for the ‘Golf Resort’ (in Hoylake) are an example of that – which will enable us to deliver the objectives set out in the local authority investment strategy."
Cllr Hackett added: "It is encouraging to note that over the past few months there has been an increase in investment discussions and activity in Wirral."
Planners have recommended approval for the Bridge Road project despite claims from objectors that sick and elderly people living adjacent to the site would be disturbed by car doors being slammed day and night and that the development would increase traffic at a busy junction.
Objectors also raised concerns at the "link to the Greater Concourse Project" – the Hoyake and West Kirby master plan.
They told the planning authority: "It is requested that this is made public and discussed at a public meeting.
"Residents should be told what the real plans are for West Kirby; we are concerned that this is part of a council aim to create greater development, including retail and office space and a multi-story car park."
Planners said the proposed development would provide high-quality affordable homes and a health centre that were considered well designed and appropriate in scale, character and appearance to surrounding homes and land uses.
The added: "There would be no detrimental change in the character of the surrounding area or significant loss of amenity to surrounding residential properties."
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