WIRRAL Council's planning process for allowing 55 flats on the site of Orange Grove, King's Gap, resulted in a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Following the recommendations of the Nolan Committee report, the council has streamlined planning applications, which are now dealt with at planning stage rather than by full council.

Previously there have been public scenes at council when controversial plans like Brookfield, Meols Drive, were finally approved.

However, the Ombudsman finds no maladministration on the part of Wirral Council. Indeed, it could be argued that the planning process has been improved, says the Ombudsman's report.

Planning committee members are expected to approve controversial plans for a detached house in Stanley Road, Hoylake, at the next meeting on July 8.

Objections were received from residents of Coronation Road and Stanley Road, including a retired vicar.

Planning committee chair Coun John Cocker, Labour, has made it clear that planning matters are now dealt with at committee stage and residents should have made their observations by then.

Also expected to be approved; a pair of semi-detached bungalows on the site of St John's Club, School Lane, Meols.

PLANNING applications just lodged with Wirral Council include: 14 flats at Leylands, Meols Drive, West Kirby; two-storey extension at West Kirby Health Centre, Councourse; take-away at 6 Grange Road, West Kirby; change of use of coach house to house at Beach House Residential Home, Barton Road, Hoylake.

At full council on July 12, councillors will be advised that subject to Government Office Merseyside confirmation, 15 homes will be built on the former Leas School site in Meols Drive.

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