POLITICIANS and senior council officers are on collision course over the future of house building on Wirral’s green belt.

Yesterday, leaked documents revealed more than 20 huge sites are to be SAVED from the clutches of developers.

These spaces previously earmarked for house building have been “rejected” from entry into the council’s Local Plan in a move that was described as “great news for our community.”

But today the local authority dismissed the idea that any of the sites are safe.

An official statement said: “The Wirral Local Plan process remains ongoing.

“The full list of green belt sites identified for potential release was agreed at Cabinet in July 2018. This list went out to public consultation and remains unchanged and no sites have been removed from the list.

“Any decision to amend the list of sites will be taken by Wirral's full council in due course.

“We actively encourage all consultees and residents to take part in future consultations on the Local Plan.”

Tory group leader Cllr Ian Lewis gave a scathing response: “So the source of this leak within 24 hours has been found to have misled the public.

“As the chief executive has now made clear not a single site identified for possible development by Labour has been ‘saved’.

“This ‘fake news’ has come either from a councillor or an officer of the council and the responsibility now rests with the chief executive to find out which and for disciplinary action to be taken against them.

“Once again it’s clear that Wirral Labour cannot be trusted with the Green Belt.”

The leaked documents show sites containing what were earmarked as space for more than 7,500 homes will no longer be considered for development, including areas such as Bebington, Clatterbridge, Heswall and Pensby.

The leak follows months of campaigning by politicians and local activists after it was revealed last year that nearly 50 green belt sites could be built on.

These are the exact sites that have been saved, with the number detailing the capacity of homes initially earmarked for the site.

• West of Landican Lane, Bebington. 248 homes.

• Little Storeton, Bebington. 71 homes.

• North of Rest Hill Road, Bebington. 636 homes.

• North of Marsh Lane, Bebington. 174 homes.

• North of Red Hill Road, Bebington. 393 homes.

• East of Brimstage Lane, Bebington. 581 homes.

• West of Brimstage Lane, Clatterbridge. 304 homes.

• West of Raby Drive, Clatterbridge. 65 homes.

• East of Rivacre Road, Eastham. 254 homes.

• East of Glenwood Drive, Irby. 349 homes.

• 41 Thurstaston Road, Irby. 18 homes.

• 59 Thurstaston Road, Irby. 15 homes.

• 61-71 Thurstaston Road, Irby. 9 homes.

• Rear of Irby Hall, Irby. 84 homes.

• South of Thingwall Road, Irby. 846 homes.

• North of Ferns Close, Heswall. 18 homes.

• East and West of Pipers Lane, Heswall. 43 homes.

• Boathouse Lane, Gayton, Heswall. 2 homes.

• Wallasey Loop, Leasowe and Moreton. 26 homes.

• North of Gills Lane, Pensby. 448 homes.

• East of Pensby (South of Barnston), Pensby. 1,705 homes.

• North of Lever Causeway, Prenton. 1,467 homes.

Cllr Phillip Brightmore is ward member for Pensby and Thingwall – home to two of the largest sites in the newly-released list.

He said: “After months of relentless campaigning, countless meetings and a local petition backed by thousands, the council document indicates our community’s green belt has been saved for future generations to enjoy.”

The cabinet member added: “Our arguments were clear and strong. They were listened to. This is great news for our community. The Tory order and ridiculous housing targets remain, and must be fought. However, it looks like our community will not be affected and no local green belt will be released for development.”

In August last year, the council revealed the nearly 50 sites that could be built on as it aimed to meet huge government-imposed house building targets.

The figure – a total of 12,000 homes to be built between 2020 and 2035 – is still being disputed.

But a Labour source said on Monday the 22 sites in the leaked document are now “safe”.

The Local Plan is set to be formally adopted by the end of the next year.