Councillor John Cocker, Chair of Planning Committee made this statement in February 2000, on the adoption of this Unitary Development Plan :-
"This is the first district wide, statutory, development plan that has ever been produced for the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral. It has been produced after extensive public consultation and a long Public Inquiry and I hope reflects the aspirations of the people of Wirral for the future development of their area."
The two main themes of the Plan are continued urban regeneration and the protection of the Green Belt. The strategy seeks to focus investment into the existing urban areas of the Borough, to maximise the re-use of previously developed land and to support the regeneration and re-development of the older, run down areas mainly situated in the east of the Borough, around Birkenhead and the southern end of Wallasey.
In regenerating the older urban areas, it is important to protect valuable greenspace within these areas and the Green Belt around Wirral's towns and villages. Wirral's coastal heritage provides nationally and internationally important wildlife habitats. The planning system must protect the environment whilst delivering the new homes and jobs that Wirral's residents deserve. The UDP is supported by Supplementary Planning Guidance which reinforces the need to foster good design.
This strategy is also intended to reflect the Borough's sub-regional role in providing a restraint to development at the fringe of the Merseyside conurbation in support of continued regeneration at the heart of nearby Liverpool.
The UDP is intended to give certainty to local residents, businesses and developers alike. In so far as its policies remain relevant, it will be used as the basis for all decisions on planning applications throughout the Borough. Departures from its provisions will be rare and advertised to enable local people to give their views, before any decision is reached.
This UDP was drawn up for the period April 1986 to March 2001 but will continue in force for the period until the plan can be formally reviewed. It is currently anticipated that this will take place following the publication of the Government's revised Regional Planning Guidance for the North West.
The revised Regional Planning Guidance will provide the strategic framework for development in Wirral up until the year 2021. That remains the challenge for the future.''