Sefton Council’s Local Plan took a step closer last night when the Overview & Scrutiny Committee agreed to endorse the controversial “Preferred Option Document” by the narrowest of margins.
Labour councillors on the Committee outvoted Lib Dems and Conservatives by 5 votes to 4 to send the Document, which proposes the building of thousands of houses on Green Belt land, through to the Planning Committee with no amendments.
The majority of the 5 Labour councillors who voted for the recommendation were from Formby, Crosby and Maghull, ironically the areas where the proposals to build in the Green Belt have been most controversial. Lib Dems Sue McGuire, Simon Shaw and Fred Weavers, together with Conservative Terry Jones (all from Southport) voted against the recommendation.
Lib Dem Cllr. Marianne Welsh reports that at a recent briefing at Bootle Town Hall councillors in Southport heard that proposals are going forward for building a large scale housing development on green belt land in an area where there has already been strong public outrage to this. The area earmarked is off of Moss Lane in Norwood Ward, near to Souhtport Old Links Golf Course.
Says Marianne, one of the councillors for this ward ‘This development is totally unacceptable and should not be progressed. As well as building on the green belt the immediate area is already heavily populated and would put a heavy strain on this community’s amenities. Also Sefton Council’s assessment of this parcel of land said it was within 600m of a primary school and a GP/Health Centre, although true this will put an extra burden on both of these which it appears no one has thought about. It is also not near any rail networks, has no leisure centre nor does it have a cycle route. We will oppose this proposal.’
For added information at the Bootle briefing councillors although shown the plans for the various developments proposed in Sefton were told by officers they could not have copies to take away. This was a common concern expressed by Lib Dem councillors – Why were the proposals only to be looked at then taken away?
I will be publishing more on the Southport land development proposals from Sefton Council soon.