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CONTROVERSIAL IDEA: Van company’s plan blocked

CONTROVERSIAL IDEA: Van company’s plan blocked

The van hire company's current premises on Cross Lane in Wallasey, Image: Google

A proposal to sell a former school playing field to a van hire firm will not go ahead after councillors threw the controversial idea out.

Tonight’s meeting of Wirral Council’s Economy and Regeneration Committee unanimously rejected the proposal to sell the land for £150,000, amid concerns over flooding and building on green space.

David Armstrong, the council’s assistant chief executive, explained that West Wallasey Van Hire, a company which employs over 200 people, wanted to buy land at Cross Lane in Wallasey to expand the business.

The land had been partly used by The Mosslands School as its playing fields, but has not been used in this way for decades as it suffers from flooding.

Conservative councillor David Burgess-Joyce was unhappy with the plan. He was worried that the site could fall into the hands of another organisation who wanted to use the land differently.

Cllr Andrew Hodson, his Tory colleague, also opposed the plan.

He was worried about the loss of green space and the impact on nearby residents, as they would have a large commercial car park next to where they live.

Cllr Hodson added that the site was part of a flood plain and feared that if it was tarmacked over it would cause problems for those living in the area who already suffer from flooding.

The Heswall councillor also thought £150,000 was not a good figure for the plot considering what could be done with it.

Green Party councillor Emily Gleaves asked what the impact of this company’s expansion would be on other van businesses in the area and asked if officers had looked into it.

Alan Evans, Wirral Council’s director of regeneration and place, said officers had done so and that the company already has a national footprint.

Ultimately, the proposal was rejected by councillors from all parties.

 

Words: George Morgan, Local Democracy Reporter


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