A MAJOR assault will be launched on Wirral's precious Green Belt land, the Globe can reveal.

In a leaked document seen by this newspaper, acres of protected space have been earmarked to be sold-off to developers in order for the council to meet Government-set housing targets.

The controversial proposals, which target 14 wards across the peninsula, "will fundamentally change the nature of our community."

Two Wirral towns could be effectively merged by a spread of urban sprawl as the council seeks to identify enough land to build 12,000 homes in the future.

Areas under threat are:

  • Eastham
  • Clatterbridge
  • Bromborough
  • Bebington
  • Prenton
  • Upton
  • Heswall, Pensby and Thingwall
  • Greasby, Frankby and Irby
  • West Kirby an Thurstaston
  • Hoylake and Meols 
  • Moreton West & Saughall Massie
  • Wallasey, Leasowe & Moreton East

Councillor Phillip Brightmore, cabinet member for leisure and ward member for Pensby and Thingwall, said: "Residents will be rightly outraged at these proposals.

"The Government knows its targets can't be met on brownfield sites alone, so is pushing for Green Belt to be released to developers.

"But these proposals will fundamentally change the nature of our community by targeting fields off Pensby Road and removing the cherished green space between Thingwall and Irby.

"In effect, they merge these two historic towns.

"That can't be right. I will be meeting with residents to make sure their voice is heard."

His colleague  Cllr Angie Davies, cabinet member for jobs and growth and ward member for Prenton, said: “Labour members on the council have been clear – decisions on the future of open spaces in Wirral should not be decided in Whitehall without local residents’ involvement.

"Local residents voices need to be heard loud and clear and I will be meeting with people who live in Prenton to collect their views.”

The hit-list map will be considered by council cabinet on July 23.

Subject to the cabinet agreeing, the proposals will go to consultation, including roadshows and public meetings throughout the borough, and will run until the end of September.

The exercise will also have a strong presence online.

The leader of Wirral's Liberal Democrat group Cllr Phil Gilchrist told the Globe: "The owners of these sites must be licking their lips in anticipation.

"Some of them have been waiting for this day for years, sitting on their land banks.

"Every site will become a battleground.  The council should say some areas are no go areas.

"Good farmland needs to stay under crops not get covered in bricks and mortar.

"In the end there will have to be a public inquiry."