A Brokenshire System for Wirral’s Green Belt

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The above ‘leaked’ letter above sent to Wirral Council Conservative Group leader Ian Lewis by James Brokenshire MP,  the Secretary of State for Housing , Communities and Local Government is concerned with the local political debate about how housing need figures are calculated.

As this debate is particularly pertinent to Wirral’s Green Belt issues we thought we’d call upon ‘The Prof’ for comment. Regardless of where you stand on the housing needs debate it’s hard to disagree with his assessment of the people who are supposed to be running the show. Whisper it – they don’t know what they’re bloody doing!

Gents…an interesting letter. We have the usual disingenuous crap from government. The government housing need figure is the MINIMUM a council must meet or suffer a sanction even if the number is crazy. 

That is the situation we have here. Brokenshire mentions ‘availability’ 
but not the first key planning test, ‘suitability’. That is defined by several 
things including the need to protect current residents and the new development 
residents from air pollution effects.
As I told you many of the proposed local plan sites imply serious health risks if built on. Policy also requires the preservation of green belt / spaces except in exceptional circumstances. 
He also fails to mention the last test , ‘viability’. This means that the houses 
must be affordable to customers while giving the developers / builders an 
acceptable profit level. If sites are generally not ‘viable’ it makes no sense 
to sanction local councils where this occurs. We are in the hands of idiots
at central and local level. 
                                                                                   The Prof. 

4 thoughts on “A Brokenshire System for Wirral’s Green Belt

  1. How about this idea……….A Wirral Co-operative non political council and the board consisting of The Prof, Lord Leaky, Martin Morton and a few more that I could mention and get rid of the crap we have running the show now…….tongue in cheek

    • G’day Fawkesy

      I say you blow em up and then bring in ADMINISTRATION of the non-political variety.

      The likes of Jones Jones Davies Davies Foulkes are just self serving arse holes.



      Just vote for a new face and when they get greedy like the fat, obese, wastes of space above vote a new face.


  2. The Government has given Wirral its final warning with respect to Local Plan production. I have reproduced an article from the Planning press below for those who have been following this sorry saga:

    “Brokenshire gives Wirral ‘final warning’ to avoid him taking over local plan preparation.

    Communities secretary James Brokenshire has written to Wirral Council to give the authority a ‘final chance’ to avoid him taking over preparation of its local plan.

    The Merseyside authority was one of three into which Brokenshire’s predecessor Sajid Javid last year sent in Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government teams to assess whether intervention was needed, having warned them over their slow preparation of their local plans.
    This week, Brokenshire wrote to Wirral’s Labour leader Phil Davies setting out a number of directions, that he said the council must follow to avoid the government taking over production of its plan.

    He said: “Should a significant delay occur against the milestones set out in your March 2018 local development scheme, should you fail to comply with the directions in this letter without a good reason or should your draft local plan fail at examination, I am minded to take over preparation of the Wirral Local Plan.”

    He said that, although Wirral is not an area of higher housing pressure, the council’s performance on other criteria allowing him to intervene was “lamentable”.

    However, he added that “in recognition that the publication of the revised National Planning Policy Framework and related planning reforms will inform the preparation of your local plan, I have decided not to prepare the Wirral Local Plan at this time.

    “I am offering you a final opportunity to demonstrate a clear path towards the delivery of your local plan. I will continue to closely monitor your local plan progress.”

    Brokenshire directed the council, within ten weeks, to designate a lead councillor and lead official to be responsible for progressing preparation of the local plan.

    He also ordered the authority to publish an action plan setting out the actions that will be taken to get a local plan in place, which should be verified by independent planning experts.
    The council will also be required to report to MHCLG officials monthly on progress from now on.

    In a letter responding to the secretary of state, Davies said: “We will of course comply with the directions you have issued and within the timeframe you have set out. I do however feel it is important to challenge your view on the progress we have made to date.”

    The leader said a lead councillor and lead official are already in place, and that the council appointed a QC last year to advise it on local plan work.

    He said that all the required technical studies are either in process or being commissioned.

    “It is clear to me that progress is being made, and being made at pace,” he added.

    In his letter, Brokenshire said that Wirral is only one of 11 authorities who have still not yet published a 2004 Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act-compliant local plan under regulation 19 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) England Regulations 2012.

    Wirral’s last local plan was adopted in February 2000 and covered a period up to March 2001.

    Brokenshire said: “Wirral has consistently failed to bring forward a local plan in accordance with its local development scheme as legally required, having failed to meet local plan milestones in at least six local development schemes since 2004.”

    Wirral Council published its draft local plan for consultation in September. Using the government’s new standard housing need method, the plan proposed delivering 12,000 homes by 2035, or 800 homes a year, and allocated 50 development sites on green belt land.”

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