Almost five years after discovering it, Wirral Council has voted to spend £40,000 tearing down an unauthorised extension at a planning committee meeting.

Wirral Council will now remove the first floor of a two storey extension at 1 Belford Drive in Moreton.

The owners made numerous retrospective planning applications to the council, two of which were granted, however the conditions of the successful applications were not adhered to before planning permission expired.

The council felt the extension was unneighbourly and had an excessive impact on the adjacent property.

In a document published prior to the meeting, the council said they had made “every effort” to help the owners comply with the regulations, but no solution was found.

Wirral Council did have the option to pursue a prosecution against the owners for their failure to remove the first floor of the extension, but the meeting concluded that the financial pressures the owners were already suffering meant this course of action would be excessive.

This does leave the council in danger of not being able to recoup their £40,000 spend on the demolition work, as they could only do so by placing a charge on the land and any subsequent sale of the property.

The council will not be first in line to receive any money owed if the property were sold, as the mortgage company has first priority.

The planning committee also approved plans to demolish the old Rock Station pub on Highfield Road, Rock Ferry and build 25 self-contained flats on the site.

There was an uproar last year, when the plans were first submitted to Wirral Council. Many residents complained of overdevelopment and parking issues.

In reaction to last year’s proposal, Rock Ferry ward councillor Moira McLaughlin said: “We have said for some time that we have got too many flats in this area. They disturb the area and could mean short term rental that doesn’t bring what we want into the area.”

In relation to last night’s meeting, 14 letters of representation and a qualifying petition were written to the council, citing similar issues to last year, however no residents or ward councillors turned up to last night’s meeting to discuss the issue.

The planning committee approved the development, after being assured that public transport was sufficient to make up for the concerns regarding parking.

Councillor Steve Foulkes said: “In my view, given the backdrop of our local plan and the need for numbers and housing, it would be very difficult to resist the basic issue of residential accommodation in this area.

“The transport links are excellent... I am saddened that there isn’t at least one or two affordable units (the proposal does not meet the council’s 10% affordability target), but i’ll take the word of the officer that to get the quality of accommodation which we would seek in that area that will not be an issue.”

An application for a dance studio on a former industrial unit in Dock Road South, Bromborough, was also approved.

The new facility will replace the former Complete Works dance studio in New Ferry, after it was burnt down in a gas explosion in 2017.

The site is located within Bromborough Business Park and as such the council’s policy states that a leisure facility should not be built there, but should instead be located in or at the edge of a town.

However, an exemption was made as other potential units for the dance studio were seen as unsuitable and no applications from industry were forthcoming.

In the following Planning Sub-Committee, a stricter policy on homes of multiple occupancy (HMO) was discussed, but a decision was deferred until further consultation had taken place.