PROPOSALS crucial to the delivery of WiFi on the new Merseyrail fleet were voted through after a three month wait.

In June, Wirral Council's planning committee voted to delay any decision on plans for five masts on railway land between Bidston and New Brighton, as it felt the plan was being imposed on residents who were not properly consulted by the applicant Merseytravel.

But on Tuesday, councillors overwhelmingly approved the plans, by 12 votes to one.

Cllr Ian Lewis, who said in June that some of the masts were in “unacceptable location”, was still not satisfied with the reasons given for the placing of two of the masts in Wallasey.

The leader of the Tory group in Wirral Council said residents of Regent Road had the idea of relocating equipment onto Grove Road station car park, but this was not properly considered by Merseytravel.

Cllr Lewis added he understood the desire for the application to be approved with all the economic benefits new trains will bring and that the agent’s consultation with concerned residents was better this time around.

This consultation was carried out despite planning officer Matthew Parry-Davies’ point that Network Rail has permitted development rights in this area and could carry out the work itself without going through the planning process.

The only reason this application was needed is because Merseytravel was the applicant, rather than Network Rail.

On the issue of using alternative sites for some of the masts to allay the fears of local people, Labour councillor Stuart Whittingham pointed out that one of the sites suggested would have meant a temporary closure of the railway line and huge expense added to the project.

As well as these five masts, eleven more were approved with little debate for railway land between Bidston and West Kirby.

This proposal is for the same purpose as the masts between Bidston and New Brighton.