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Uproar over council's sale of green space in Heswall
CAMPAIGNERS in Heswall have accused Wirral council of mishandling the sale of a public green space in the town.
Heswall Conservative councillor Les Rowlands said land at the junction of Boundary Lane and Telegraph Road was put on the market without notification or public consultation.
He says the views of nearby residents have been completely ignored by Wirral's cabinet member for central and support services, Seacombe Labour councillor Adrian Jones.
Cllr Rowlands has put together a petition containing signatures of 74 residents opposing the proposed sale.
He told the Globe: "All residents' rights have been ignored. The vast majority of Heswall people still do not know this is happening and it will come as a complete surprise.
"Government has set out community rights guide that should have been followed.
"This is given by the department of communities and local government and outlines the community's rights for the public for the sale of community assets.
"These rights have been totally ignored and the land has been put up for sale by auction.
"Heswall residents pay the greatest amount of rates in the borough and receive the least back in investment into the community.
"It is not right that people should be treated this way the decision to sell this much loved amenity space should be overturned."
Councillor Adrian Jones, cabinet member for central and support services, said: "Local authorities across the country are reviewing the assets that they hold to ensure they offer the best value for residents and it is only right that we go through the same process in light of the budget challenges that we face.
"This land off Telegraph Road in Heswall is vacant and not required by the Council so a decision has been taken to sell it.
"This will not only generate important income but also save the Council money in maintenance costs.
"We are aware of a number of local residents who have raised concerns about this decision.
"However, we must stress that if the land is sold successfully, any proposals to change its use would need to go through the relevant planning procedures which require public notification."
One campaigner, who asked not to be named, said: "I'd like the council, when it considers applications from people interested in buying the land, to consider the views of residents."
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