PEOPLE living in an area of Wirral are angry after a plot of greenbelt land was put up for sale on the Rightmove website.

Karl Tatler Estate Agents, which has been based in Wirral for over 20 years, is advertising land off Irby Road in Irby, on behalf of the landowner and described it as a "development opportunity".

Residents living nearby were furious about the apparent threat of development on greenbelt land.

Posting on the Facebook group Irby, Wirral, one person said: "I am so sick of seeing new houses being built on our brown and green land.

"Wirral is already full."

While another person said: "What a terrible shame. Some people will not be satisfied until all land has some building on it."

A fellow member of the group went further, adding: "Too many townies around wanting to make money off greenbelt.

"If looking at houses is your thing, sod off to a town, and leave the villages to those who appreciate the green space."

However, not everyone agreed that developing the Irby Lane site would be a bad idea.

Another person said: "It's an eyesore that land. Why not have some lovely homes there?

"Everyone’s house was built on a field at some point."

It is understood that Wirral Council has not received a planning application to develop the site, however the estate agent's description of the site as a "development opportunity" appears to have worried many people living in the area.

A spokesperson for Karl Tatler Estate Agents said: "Ours is a small holding and of course any future development on the site would be determined by the local authority [Wirral Council].

"We are not aware of any local anger but are happy to answer any queries local residents have.

"We have operated in the Wirral for 20 plus years and value our relationship with the local community."

The spokesperson added that they appreciated advertising the land as a development opportunity may be "inflammatory" and the company would amend the wording of the advert.

Cllr Tom Anderson, who represents Greasby, Frankby and Irby on Wirral Council, said developers and landowners will chance their arm with greenbelt land until the council has a Local Plan in place.

The Tory councillor attacked Labour's "dither and delay" and said every day a Local Plan, a document which spells out what sort of plans a council will and will not accept in principle among other things, is not in place is another day the borough’s greenbelt is at risk.

Cllr Anderson said the lack of a Local Plan allowed developers to try to push through greenbelt plans across the borough, such as a proposal which could deliver more than 90 homes on land off Carr Lane in Hoylake.

Gail Jenkinson, Labour’s candidate for Greasby, Franky and Irby at Wirral Council’s upcoming local elections, said: "Wirral Labour is not only opposed to building on greenbelt land, but a Labour-led team has developed a viable and robust local plan that makes provision for all of the government’s housing quota to be built on brownfield sites.

"The plan is based on the regeneration of Birkenhead which has the capacity to provide more housing than is currently required, so providing contingency for the future.

"It brings good quality housing, sustainable jobs, outstanding leisure facilities and green spaces, while redeveloping empty sites which haven’t been used for many years and will enhance the borough for all our residents."

Turning to the site itself, Ms Jenkinson added: "The Irby land in question was greenbelt land under the previous local plan, and will absolutely remain so.

"There is no planning permission granted here, the advert is purely speculative.

"In fact, an application was refused on land close by for 35 homes in 2016.

"But – and this is vital – the upcoming local plan needs the support of councillors to come into effect.

"Once it has council support, it needs to go to the government for their agreement.

"I would urge Wirralians to ask their councillors to vote through the local plan when it comes to full council, and to lobby the Conservative government to do the same, ensuring our greenbelt and green spaces are protected for future generations.

"That's what our Labour councillors, candidates and MPs are working so hard to do."

Wirral Council’s elections take place on Thursday, May 6.

Candidates standing in Greasby, Frankby and Irby ward:

  • Tom Anderson (Conservative Party)
  • Gail Jenkinson (Labour Party)
  • Cathy Page (Green Party)
  • Mike Redfern (Liberal Democrats)