19 Feb 2018

Victoria Lodge Hotel Tranmere: Call for Compulsory Purchase

I've sent the letter below to the head of Regeneration at Wirral
Council. It calls on the council to compulsory purchase the Victoria
Lodge Hotel site on Victoria Road in Tranmere and sets out the reasons why.

For the past five years this site has caused nothing but trouble and the
problems are mounting. This is exactly the kind of situation where local
authorities need to intervene.

FAO: David Ball
Head of Regeneration and Planning
Wirral Council
Brighton Street, Wallasey, CH44 8ED


Re: Victoria Lodge Hotel, Victoria Road, Tranmere

Dear David,

As you know, there has been widespread and growing concern about the
Victoria Lodge site for more than five years since it ceased to operate
as a public house. Apart from being an eye-sore, it is a persistent
magnet for crime and anti-social behaviour. The site is regularly
fly-tipped and vandalised. It has been set on fire on several occasions.
There is persistent drug dealing in the vicinity. The police, fire
service and council employees have all given many hours of publicly
funded time dealing with the many issues associated with the site.

In contrast, the behaviour of the site owners has left much to be
desired. The Lodge has never been properly secured. The owners have been
reactive rather than proactive in looking after the property. The
promised planning application to redevelop the site has never
materialised. Private approaches to purchase the site have been
rejected. They have recently indicated that redeveloping the site is not
a priority.

The overall situation has been exacerbated by Magenta Livings closure of
the car park opposite the Lodge. This has turned a public asset into a

My patience and the patience of local residents has run out. We are all
sick and tired of the disregard for the local community and the daily
problems the site brings. We see no prospect of an end to this
situation. The house next door to the Lodge has been empty and boarded
up for two years. How many more homes will suffer this fate?

The time has come to accept that Wirral Council needs to take the
appropriate steps to address this blight on the local community. It is
clearly in the public interest that Wirral Council use its compulsory
purchase powers to acquire the site and secure its long term future. As
you know, the government has recently updated and simplified its
guidance to local authorities on the compulsory purchase process. Now is
the time to act on that guidance.

Consideration should also be given to the future of the car park site
opposite the Lodge.

We therefore ask that you set in motion the necessary steps to acquire
the Victoria Lodge site with a view to its timely redevelopment/reuse
for the benefit of local residents and the wider community of Birkenhead.

We look forward to your response.

With best regards

Pat Cleary
Green Party councillor
Birkenhead and Tranmere

and 36 local residents.