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latest update 12 March 2010

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Civil servants' blunder holds up £4.5bn Wirral Waters scheme

Wirral Globe - by Justin Dunn

PLANS for the biggest development project in Wirral’s history have been set back after an embarrassing blunder by staff in the council’s planning department.

Unnamed civil servants missed including a vital document relating to the proposed £4.5bn Wirral Waters project when they submitted a report to the council’s planning commitee on Thursday.

The committee was meeting to consider Peel Developments’ application for the first part of its massive plans to regenerate the docklands area between Wallasey and Birkenhead.

But a 21-page objection to the scheme from Warner Estates - owners of The Pyramids and The Grange shopping centres - had mistakenly been left out of the file.

The gaffe meant the committee had to defer making any decision until it meets again next Thursday.

Peel’s application was seeking outline planning permission for around 1,700 homes to be built, along with retail outlets and offices. The company says it could create 850 jobs.

Peel and Wirral Council, who are supporting the scheme, believe Wirral Waters could eventually create 20,000 jobs and put the docklands area on a level with Vancouver and Shanghai.

It could however take anything up to ten years before any development would get under way because of the current instability in the financial markets.

Warner Estates are objecting to any shopping development to be included in the ambitious plans as it believes it would threaten “the future vitality and viability of Birkenhead town centre”.

The Peel plans will now go before the committee this Thursday.

The latest stage of Neptune Developments’ New Brighton scheme will be considered at the same meeting.

A council spokeswoman said: “The Wirral Waters Northbank East planning application has been deferred for technical reasons to ensure that members have all the relevant information before making their decision.

“The application will now be heard at planning committee on Thursday, August 13.”

© copyright Wirral Globe. Reproduced under fair use for the dual purposes of comment and news reporting

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