4 Feb 2016

Council still failing residents over Conway Street land

I've written before about land on Conway Street, Birkenhead opposite Europe Pools. This was stupidly sold off by Wirral Council in 2014 and the new owner completely trashed the site last year as part of a failed bid to gain planning permission for a car park.

Nearby residents are naturally furious about this. To make matters worse the site has predictably become a magnet for litter and the owner - SIP Car Parks - is doing nothing about this.

I have therefore written to the council's head of regeneration demanding the council takes immediate steps to force the land owner to keep the site tidy and consider repurchasing the land via compulsory purchase. Here is an extract from my letter:

As you are aware in 2015 this land was dug up and all adjacent trees felled leaving it in a very sorry state and generating huge anger among local residents. This anger has intensified of late as no attempts to reinstate the land have been made and, even worse, it is now becoming a magnet for fly-tipping. Assorted rubbish on the land is not being cleared.

Given the appalling behaviour of the developer, the degree of public distress and the council's decision to sell the land in the first place this needs to be a priority for attention. Wirral Council needs to use every means at its disposal to force the landowner to behave responsibly. Consideration should also be given to compulsory purchase to return this land to public ownership so that it can be properly managed, not least given its strategic location.

I can only hope that lessons have been learned from the decision to sell the land in the first place and that the land owner's behaviour will be taken into account in the future.

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