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GB1  Amendments to the Green Belt Boundary  Proposal

1. The area of the M53 Corridor from Leasowe Road in the north, through Bidston Moss, and south to the A552 Woodchurch Road interchange, as shown on the Proposals Map, shall be included within the Green Belt.

2. Land to the west of Elm Road in Irby, as shown on the Proposals Map, shall be included within the Green Belt.

3. The area of residential development at Poulton Green Close in Poulton/ Spital, as shown on the Proposals Map, shall be excluded from the Green Belt.

Reasoned justification :


7.5 Strategic Guidance referred to the need to give precision to the detailed boundaries of the Green Belt where those have not yet been clearly defined. This is also echoed in PPG2 - Green Belts (1995), which refers to the need to ensure that the definition of detailed boundaries is completed. In Wirral, the only area where boundaries were not set by the Merseyside Green Belt Local Plan was in the M53 Corridor and Bidston Hill. Strategic Guidance therefore provides the justification for the exceptional circumstances required to alter the adopted Green Belt boundary by its extension into the M53 Corridor.

7.6 The area known as the M53 Corridor was identified in the Merseyside Structure Plan as an important break between the built-up areas of eastern and central Wirral, to be treated as if it were Green Belt. Merseyside County Council identified the Corridor as a priority area for landscape renewal requiring treatment within the Structure Plan period. Because of its condition the Corridor was not included in the Green Belt, pending an appraisal of the wider needs of the area and a scheme for landscape renewal.

7.7 The most recent Government advice is that landscape quality is immaterial in assessing the possible Green Belt function of an area of land. Given this and the Inspector's view at the Merseyside Green Belt Local Plan Inquiry that the Corridor performed a separation function between the urban areas, extension of the Green Belt into the Corridor area has now been proposed.

7.8 The Corridor separates the various townships in the centre of the Borough including Moreton, Upton, Woodchurch and Leasowe from those in the eastern half, such as Bidston, Beechwood and Noctorum. This separation function has not diminished, and the UDP provides the opportunity to give long-term protection to the area. This follows the consideration of the area's wider requirements for new development.

7.9 Only limited areas of the Corridor are suitable for development without affecting its function in separating the eastern and central townships. The principal areas are the sites at Noctorum Way in Noctorum (Proposal HS1/1), to the north of Claremount School in Moreton (Proposal HS1/3) and to the east of Fender Farm in Moreton (Proposal HS1/6) which are allocated for residential development. Other areas are constrained by the presence of the Bidston-Wrexham railway line and the M53 Motorway which hinder local access across them, have poor ground conditions, are in areas liable to flooding or are Sites of Biological Importance.


7.10 The Merseyside Green Belt Local Plan of December 1983 showed the boundary of the Green Belt to the south west of Elm Road, Irby as following the line of a stream, tributary of the Arrowe Brook. This stream has been part culverted and its line to the south west of Elm Road is now less distinct. The Green Belt boundary now follows the western edge of Elm Road.


7.11 The only major development allowed in the Green Belt since 1983, contrary to generally accepted policy, has been that for thirty-one dwellings at Poulton Green Close off Poulton Royd Drive in Poulton/ Spital. Planning permission for the site was granted following a Public Inquiry in August 1986 and the dwellings were completed in August 1988. The land does not now perform a Green Belt function.