Councillor Phil Davies
c/o Town Hall
Wirral CH44 8ED
15 December 2017
Re: WMBC Golf Resort Project
Dear Cllr Davies
As you will be aware, the Hoylake Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) succeeded at referendum on 2 December 2016 and as such is now part of WMBC’s Local Plan.
The designated community planning forum, Hoylake Vision, carry responsibility for monitoring the application of the NDP and updating it in consultation with the community. The NDP runs until 2020 and we are already undertaking research and consultation for its successor.
As you will know, the Localism Act 2011 requires a Local Authority to take note of the NDP’s Objectives, Priorities and Policies, and to work with the neighbourhood forum over planning and development matters.
Whilst in most cases and for practical reasons this is limited to pre-application discussions and responses to planning applications, in the case of large ‘key’ developments, earlier co-operation and consultation becomes increasingly important as development proposals emerge.
As such, the Council’s plans for the Hoylake Golf Resort will need to be measured against the Objectives, Priorities and Policies in the NDP.
As I hope was clear at the recent public meeting organised by Margaret Greenwood MP, Hoylake Vision also have some significant concerns and would value an opportunity to explore those with you and your executive team.
As stewards of the NDP, the management group of the forum are also constituitionally bound to represent the wider forum and therefore the Hoylake community who mandated the NDP at the referendum in late 2016.
We are pleased that you made a commitment to look in more detail at the well researched alternative proposals presented by Hoylake Village Life at the recent public meeting in Hoylake, which was attended by a large number of members of the public.
We would urge you to consider those proposals seriously.
It is clear to us that there is a growing local opposition to the plans as they stand, most notably in respect of the proposed residential development on Greenbelt and also concerns about funding arrangements with the developer.
For this reason Hoylake Vision requests that you postpone the funding strategy decision due to be considered at Cabinet on Monday 18th December until alternative proposals have been more fully explored and considered and the advisers and consultants who HVL have spoken to have had an opportunity to meet with you.
In any event we would strongly recommend that if any funding arrangements are made at this stage, they should carry appropriate caveats so that other options, including HVL’s Wildfowl and Wetland Centre proposal, are not precluded.
Further, we would ask that any environmental and feasibility studies conducted include an assessment of these alternative proposals alongside the Council’s existing proposals, and that the results of that research are made publicly available.
CT Moore CBE
Hoylake Vision Community Planning Forum
cc David Ball; Margaret Greenwood MP; Sajid Javid MP; Alok Sharma MP; Marcus Jones MP; Jake Berry MP; Rebecca Long-Bailey MP; Andrew Gwynne MP; Ward Cllrs Ellis, Boult and Hale.