WIRRAL residents are celebrating after a popular walkway was saved from closure.

Trinity Lane in Birkenhead was set to be closed to public access after Wirral Council granted planning permission to a local company almost two years ago.

It is understood the company wanted permission to use the lane for business use only.

But residents were concerned the change would mean the loss of an important link into the town centre and would be a step towards making Birkenhead "more industrialised."

Before the lane could be closed, Wirral Council had to first apply for a special court order.

However, after a string of petitions and surveys from campaigners, the authority withdrew its application for the stopping-up order.

Pat Cleary of the Green Party, who backed the residents’ fight, said it was a “landmark victory” for them.

Mr Cleary said: “It has taken almost two years but, finally, commonsense has prevailed.

"However, I am deeply concerned that Wirral Council has displayed such a cavalier attitude in trying to remove this important local amenity.

"A lot of time, stress and taxpayers’ money could have been saved if the council had taken its own advice.

"After all, the council is supposed to prioritise walking as part of its healthy travel policy. However, this case clearly shows a lack of joined up thinking.

"I’m delighted that Trinity Lane has now been preserved for local people.”

Householder John Davies, whose home is near to the lane, hopes their victory will send a clear message to future proposals for closures.

He said: “If the council had been granted their stopping order, it would have been another piece of Birkenhead turned into an industrial site.

"We just can’t understand why companies are being offered land at the expense of local people’s quality of life.

"We felt the council carried out no kind of assessment about how often the lane was used and how the closure would affect us.”

The council's response is expected later today.