IT'S hardly surprising that recent letters to the Globe have expressed outrage at the approval granted for a new fire station in Saughall Massie.

That decision flew in the face of all the available evidence and sets a deeply worrying precedent for the protection of green belt land in Wirral.

The figures submitted by the fire service to justify their application showed that moving the fire station from Upton to Saughall Massie would improve response times to West Kirby by an average of 105 seconds.

At the same time, response times to Upton would increase by 62 seconds.

However, the fire service admits that over 70% of call outs are to the Upton area with less than 30% to the West Kirby area.

This means that, on average, call out times for the combined West Kirby/Upton areas will increase by around 12 seconds if the fire station moves from Upton to Saughall Massie.

In addition, the new fire station will have a major impact on the character of Saughall Massie village and will force fire service vehicles to navigate the narrow lanes that link Saughall Massie with its wider catchment area.

To justify building on green belt land requires "very special circumstances."

I don't believe that any reasonable person would view this application as coming anywhere close to meeting that threshold.

By using their narrow 7-6 majority on the planning committee to reject refusal, Labour councillors have clearly demonstrated that Wirral's green belt is not safe in their hands.

Chris Cooke, Green Party