THE council's new "close to 500" houses per annum and hence a 7,500 houses, 15-year plan target, down from the Government's obsolete target of 800 houses per annum.

This was roughly correct, based on population projections released in May 2018.

But as usual the council is behind the times.

The September 21, 2018 ONS household projections for Wirral suggest a basic 393 houses per annum requirement or 5,900 over the 15-year plan.

All these figures have already been submitted to the Local Plan consultation and local councillors.

However, this requirement is still based on a fantasy economic migration into Wirral over the plan period, totally at odds with real history.

The ONS also provide new - post Brexit - low economic migration scenarios for the UK.

To put these new forecasts into perspective we can add in 2,400 brown field slots identified by the council; 2,900 minimum offer from Peel; 3,570 houses over five years and in total 8,870 non-Green Belt house places.

This compares with the new Government target and the new ONS low economic migration scenario of 4,500.

Only a fraction of the available non-Green Belt housing potential is needed.

Scaling up by a small "affordability uplift" factor makes no difference.

The certain bottom line is: no Wirral Green Belt land need be released at all.

Professor D P Gregg, Spital.