MONEY to regenerate New Ferry and the £26m loan for the Hoylake Golf Resort are 'separate' issues, Wirral Council has said.

It comes after dozens of questions were submitted to various Wirral Council constituency committees over the past few months about why the authority is loaning so much money to the project while leaving New Ferry 'to rot.'

So the local authority has now explained its position.

The issue is addressed in documents included in next week’s constituency committee papers for Wirral South, where it 'clarifies' that the proposed loan to the controversial golf resort project is a 'commercial investment', from which the council will receive a financial return.

Although that return can be reinvested back into local services, it said the funds could not be used for New Ferry, the community devastated by last year’s huge explosion.

A letter to the committee from David Ball, the council’s assistant director of major growth and housing delivery, said: “It is important to state that the cabinet decision taken to move to the next stage of the [Hoylake] project viewed the proposed future loan of £26m to the project as a commercial investment from which the council will receive a financial return that can be reinvested back into local service provision.

“It is not a sum of council money that could in theory be re-directed to another location such as New Ferry.

“The council are following a separate strategy for New Ferry which is making progress.”

It also said contrary to the letter, the council is “not prioritising” the golf resort project above other issues.

“The references to the Wirral Waters development and the work of the Wirral Growth Company implies that the council is prioritising the Hoylake Golf Resort project over the work on other development sites. This is not the case,” it said.

“The council is deploying a growth strategy on a number of fronts where opportunities have been identified and can be delivered concurrently with the Golf Resort project.”

It comes after questions were submitted earlier this year to constituency committees, including Wirral South.

It was revealed that 20 similar questions had been sent in by residents about the golf course, despite Hoylake being in the Wirral West constituency.

One asked the committee: “One year on from the New Ferry explosion and there has been no real amount put in by the council.

“There’s been a few little studies but nothing else. Why are they lending millions to developers for this golf resort [in Hoylake] and yet leaving New Ferry to rot?”

The letter by Mr Ball, due to be considered when the committee meets on June 20, also said many of the questions asked cannot be answered until the council has the results of technical surveys and studies undertaken by developers Nicklaus Joint Venture Group (NJVG).

Once they are completed, there will be further consultation with residents, and NJVG will also provide a detailed economic assessment in support of its application.