A planning application has been submitted to the council for the construction of a new fire station at Saughall Massie.

An online petition has been organised against the scheme as the land is in Wirral green belt.

Protesters say it would damage the character of the village, cause traffic hazards and be a potential flood risk.

The site on Saughall Massie Road was only identified after a previous proposal to build a new station in Greasby was withdrawn following a public outcry with hundreds turning out to oppose the Frankby Road location.

The new facility is intended to replace existing West Kirby and Upton fire stations.

The fire and rescue service says the Saughall Massie site will cut response times to West Kirby and Hoylake compared with relying on Upton.

Ward councillor Chris Blakeley is against the proposal and has asked for council leader Phil Davies to step in.

He said that as Cllr Davies withdrew the Greasby site in the face of public opposition, he should do the same for Saughall Massie.

"Residents have consistently opposed the idea to desecrate our precious green belt and it really is incumbent on the leader of the council to treat people across the borough in a fair and equitable manner," said Cllr Blakeley.

“He can demonstrate he is prepared to do that by withdrawing this land from consideration immediately.”

A statement on the fire service website said: "After cuts to Merseyside Fire & Rescue Authority’s budget the authority was forced to make savings of £6.5m.

"The only way to do this and minimise the impact on response times was to close pairs of adjacent stations in Knowsley, St Helens and Wirral and build new stations midway between the old stations.

"The proposal in Wirral is to close Upton and West Kirby fire stations, and build a new fire station as close to mid-way between the stations as can be achieved. This was supported through an extensive public consultation.

"Saughall Massie Road was one of many sites considered.

"However, it was the only site that was suitable, available, and would enable the authority to provide effective cover across West Wirral, maintaining the 10-minute response time in line with the rest of Merseyside. "

The proposed fire station has been designed to be "sympathetic to the local environment."

The original design has been significantly altered as a result of feedback from a public consultation and discussions with council planning officers.

The building would be a low-level, timbered structure which would be surrounded by "significant areas of planting and landscaping to make it as unobtrusive as possible."

The Globe has tried to contact Cllr Phil Davies but it has not yet been possible to gain a response.

The application will go before the planning committee on August 18.