Green Belt Grief : They’re Not Happy Bunnies at Claremont Farm

Claremont Farm 089

The ongoing Wirral Council Green Belt briefings have had the fortuitous effect of bringing some knowledgeable people together . Following a meeting held at Hulme Hall a local barrister raised the issue of motorway proximity and health risks.

As is his wont our good friend Professor Gregg ( ‘The Prof ‘ ) has done some further research on this issue and specific issues in relation to Claremont Farm which we’d like to share with you . Firstly  consider the following  information taken from the Claremont Farm Facebook page :

It is very sad to think that this particular part of our farm in the photo could be taken away for development and housing!

We must first make it clear that we do not own the land, we are tenant farmers and we have been farming here since 1906……and we are categorically against any building on Claremont and our precious Wirral Green Belt.

The Pimbley’s have a 100 year lease or 4 generations Agricultural Tenancy Agreement, which myself and my brother currently hold and we are the last generation to automatically receive the right to farm at Claremont. After us, who knows what will happen.
The farm shop is also not ours, we have the right to run it for 30 years but then have to give it back, even though we have paid (with some help from our landlord and some Rural Development Funding) for the building to be built.
The Farm and the Farm Shop are owned by the Trustees of the Poulton Hall Estate of which the Llancelyn Green family make up the majority and who Fisher German land agents manage our farm & shop. If the Trust had no desire to develop, there would be no issue.

This part of the farm is integral to our Farm and taking it away brings the viability of the whole of Claremont under speculation.
We rotate our Home Grown Vegetables around this particular land as it’s the closest land available to the shop, so we are not having to travel long distances every morning during harvest. It’s also important that winter educational visits/welly walks can access these vegetables and enable the children to see these vegetables growing first hand.
This part of the farm is also integral to our Higher Level Environmental Stewardship Scheme agreement, which works on a points basis, many of our points are gained in this area of land from infield trees & ponds, field corners, grass buffer strips, hedgerow management etc etc If we lose this land we will no longer have sufficient points to stay in the agreement and will also lose the right to offer 70 FREE school visits every year to the local school groups.

There is a reason Bebington was voted the most desirable postcode in the UK to live and the Wirral is know for it’s green spaces, to take that away unnecessarily would be a travesty.
Do we need to mention the obvious traffic issue and that it is already at capacity on Brimstage Road and the Clatterbridge roundabout……and nothing is more frustrating than knowing that there are many more brown field and suitable areas where houses could be built but for political reasons, mismanagement and greed, these are not being utilised.

We will back any campaign to save our green belt and to push the council to use the areas already marked for housing first and foremost.
There are groups, such as the Claremont Defenders who we wish to distance ourselves from though and even though people may use our name they may not have our best interests at heart.

Any further questions about this particular land at Claremont can be directed to J.Mellis of Fisher German (https://www.fishergerman.co.uk/offices/chester)

Let us hope the Council make the correct choice, not to allow unneccessary building on our Green Belt

If you want to write a letter against development please write to localplan@wirral.gov.uk

‘The Prof’ provides the following information that Claremont Farm and others living in the surrounding area would do well to heed…

Wirral residents are now aware that the main thrust of the great council Green Belt Sell Off for housing development is focused on a wide strip of land just east of the M53 from Prenton in the north to Raby Mere in the south. This huge area is currently farm land. Protests have so far focused on the harmful impact on current residents. The quality of life of current residents will be badly impacted by these unnecessary developments.However it is emerging that those who buy the new homes on this land adjacent to the M53 will also be put at hazard in terms of health risks.

Several large scale clinical research studies over the last decade show that proximity to motorways causes significantly increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, dementia and reduced lung function in children. What is compelling in all this research is the demonstration of gradient effects:the nearer to the road, the greater the health damage recorded. It looks as though living within 500 metres of a motorway presents significant risks. In the land under threat, two areas already border the danger zone. Poulton Royd Drive to Colmore Avenue at Poulton Lancelyn lies just under 500 mts. from the M53. Blakely Road houses at Raby Mere are just on the boundary of safety. Any housing development west of these sites will expose purchasers to serious risks.

The new NICE Guidance requires Local Plans to ‘site living accommodation away from roadsides.”minimise risk to vulnerable groups to air pollution by not siting buildings in areas where pollution levels will be high.”avoid the creation of street and building configurations (such as deep street canyons) that encourage pollution to build up where people spend time.’The land south of junction 4 and east of the M53  is low lying where pollution can and does accumulate in light winds.

Prevailing westerly winds blow fumes towards the current housing but it disperses in the open fields.New housing nearer the M53 won’t be so lucky. Similar risks relate to areas at Brookhurst Avenue and near junction 5 and Eastham. Allowing, indeed encouraging, house building close to the M53, given the clear medical evidence, amounts to criminal negligence. This material was brought to my attention by a local lawyer.

By the way the situation at ‘Claremont’, land parcel SP042 A,  is interesting.The council intends to redefine all the land there which is currently green belt. This covers the farm buildings & shop, the near field, Poulton Royd house and the gardens of the large houses along Poulton Royd Drive. The owners are not happy!

Lancelyn Green Estates has given permission for the council to release SP040 (south of Brimstage Road, and north of the farm) for development.This was a foolish tactical mistake since the detailed council plan just released lists options’ involving ALL of the Lancelyn Green land from Brimstage Road south to Raby Mere SP040 – SP046 and other land besides. I tried to warn Scirard LG about this some time ago but alas…The locals who know are not happy bunnies.  He needs to withdraw consent to parcel SP040 otherwise all the dominoes may fall…

9 thoughts on “Green Belt Grief : They’re Not Happy Bunnies at Claremont Farm

  1. Oh god let’s hope the council have a legal clue on pollution levels .. I read that they have only recently reintroduced benzene level assessments for the sole reason of potential fracking !! ..

    Also when was the last time our Wirral sssi ‘s were assessed locally by the council or as per remit by natural England I can’t find the info is there a council leaker in the know ?

  2. The whole situation beggars belief I personally strongly object to out green belt being devastated and I fully support Claremont farm in their objections. We really really must fight this. Wirral is unique and beautiful and must not be destroyed by this totally appalling development. There are ample sites around that can be used and many empty properties that could be developed

  3. It’s only a farm isn’t it Phil. Bloody useless things that just grow food and take up valuable housing land. Nowhere near as useful as a golf course.

  4. I live at Poulton Lancelyn behind Vineyard Farm which is one of the other farms in the area at risk. I must say I am a little bit taken back by this as a few months ago I asked the Lancelyn Greens about the situation and they said they were opposed to it and would do everything they could to help stop it?

    I would be keen to know what the owners of the Vineyard Farm are thinking aswell, These two Farms are vital to the local area. I it is also leased but not sure who the land owner is?

    I know the Lancelyn Greens don’t own SP043 (lancelyn Farm) but said they would oppose its release and had instructed there solicitor to write to WBC regarding the Release of SP042?

    The whole thing is a disgrace, how any of this land can be justified for release given there is no real ‘need’.

    What role does Leverhulme estates have in all this aswell? Some of the land (well most actually) is owned by them, do they need to raise capital for something I wonder.

    While WBC play around with all this they are putting thousands of residents through hell worrying about what is going to happen to there local areas. Perhaps there is legal action that could be taken against WBC, I know I would forfeit my holiday fund to help fund some form of representation against these crooks.

    Increasing amounts of pressure now need to be applied to WBC, we must break them and rid our council of these crooks once and for all.

    • Please see this evenings Liverpool Echo.. Leaked documents may just give you the hope and belief I have in Thingwall Road Irby where they have plans for 846 homes..

  5. I feel that this area of the Wirral is being targeted. Maybe those living in the likes of Caldy, Parkgate, Barnston and Thurstaston to mention a few, have more cash, more land and for some reason, more clout

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