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latest update 12 March 2010

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Confidential letter from MP urges Wirral planning chief to 'do his duty' over Warrens bid

Wirral Globe - by Leigh Marles

A CONFIDENTIAL letter from a Wirral MP obtained by the Globe urges the chairman of the council's planning committee to "do his duty" over a highly controversial application.

The letter focuses on a bid by Wirral Primary Care Trust for a new GP centre on green belt land at The Warrens in Thingwall.

The application is to be considered by planning officials and councillors on Thursday night.

Written by Stephen Hesford, the constituency's MP who has campaigned for the application to be approved, the letter is addressed to Cllr David Elderton and makes clear the MP's strong views in its opening salvo: "I thought the committee’s decision to turn-down the PCT’s last application in 2007 was seriously wrong."

It goes on to say: "The PCT have sensitively moved the site and I believe that their application is even stronger than last time.

"For your convenience, I enclose a copy of my letter on this issue to the planning committee.

"Moreover, your own planning officials (again) agree with me when they state in the conclusion to their report for councillors on this application 'that the applicant has adequately demonstrated the very special circumstances in line with national and local green belt policy and there is no counter information to dispute their reasons.'

"Finally, I enclose a copy letter written by the GPs in question setting out cogently why they want the Warrens development.

"I know that you will want to respond positively to their request on behalf of their patients.

"In summary, my constituents in Pensby and Thingwall are almost unique throughout the borough in being denied up to date primary care facilities.

"They have waited too long. Please do your duty on Thursday."

The application for the development of a one-stop primary care centre on the site of the former Warrens Nursery in Thingwall Road East, Thingwall, is expected to be given approval.

If given the green light, surgeries in Irby, Thingwall and Heswall would relocate to the centre.

Petitions have been handed in to the planning committee with the names of more than 700 people objecting to the scheme.

More than 600 letters have also been received in support of the plan.

Those against are concerned that the new development would be inaccessible to many, particularly the elderly, and will lead to traffic congestion, pollution and the loss of green belt land.

The planning committee will meet at 6pm this Thursday evening at Wallasey Town Hall, when campaigners from both sides are expected to be out in force.

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


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