Public meetings held to specifically discuss a 285 acre development on GREEN BELT land.

Alan Rundle made this Freedom of Information request to Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Waiting for an internal review by Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council of their handling of this request.

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

On 23 December 2014 I contacted you to request an internal review of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Hoylake Golf Resort'.

The plan for a 285 acre Golf Resort at Hoylake (in the Birket Valley) is,
apparently, going to include a Conference Centre, a 250
ensuite-bedroom, five star, luxury Hotel, a Spa and huge car
parking areas, all to be situated on Green Belt land.
£237,000 has already been spent, in recent months, on CONSULTANTS FEES in relation to the scheme.

I am extremely concerned about the nature of the process whereby £237,000 has been spent on a proposed GOLF RESORT SCHEME without A PROPERLY CONDUCTED PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PROCESS, in line withe the requirements of the United
Nations 'Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation
in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters'
(the Aarhus Convention).

On 6 January 2015 you stated that:
"the Council has had for a number of years, aspirations to create a Golf
Resort in Hoylake. These aspirations have been consulted on through the
West Wirral Area Forum and have been reported to Council Committees
(details available on the Council website)".

"The current position is that the Council, through a European Procurement
Process, has been seeking to identify a preferred partner to develop this
proposal. This process has not yet been completed. As this procurement
process required expertise that the Council does not have, it decided to
procure external specialist consultants to assist it in undertaking the
procurement process. This is what the £237,000 has been spent on. All of
this expenditure has been approved through the appropriate decision making
processes of the Council. Details of this have been sent to you in
response to FOI 854500".

Please provide details of ANY public meetings that were called in West Kirby OR Hoylake, specifically concerning the future of the 285 acre site, WHEN ALL OPTIONS WERE OPEN and WHEN PUBLIC PARTICIPATION COULD HAVE BEEN EFFECTIVE.

Merely having a few "forum meetings", which were poorly advertised and did not mention the purpose of the meeting, where council officials/councillors happen to mention Council plans for an area of land,DOES NOT satisfy the requirements of the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation
in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters'
(the Aarhus Convention) - Article 6, paragraph 4.

1. Please provide details of posters advertising public meetings held in West Kirby and Hoylake to SPECIFICALLY discuss the future of the Birket Valley/Home Farm 850 acre site.

2. Please also provide a list of ALL of the other proposals that members of the public living in West Kirby put forward for the 850 acre site WHEN ALL OPTIONS WERE OPEN and WHEN PUBLIC PARTICIPATION COULD HAVE BEEN EFFECTIVE.

3. Please also provide a list of ALL of the other proposals that members of the public living in Hoylake put forward for the 850 acre site WHEN ALL OPTIONS WERE OPEN and WHEN PUBLIC PARTICIPATION COULD HAVE BEEN EFFECTIVE.

4. Please also provide a list of ALL of the other proposals that the under 18 year old section of the public put forward for the 850 acre site WHEN ALL OPTIONS WERE OPEN and WHEN PUBLIC PARTICIPATION COULD HAVE BEEN EFFECTIVE.

5. Please also provide a list of ALL of the other proposals that members of the public living in the Meols area put forward for the 850 acre site WHEN ALL OPTIONS WERE OPEN and WHEN PUBLIC PARTICIPATION COULD HAVE BEEN EFFECTIVE.

6. Please give the date at which the Council first ASPIRED to go ahead with a GOLF RESORT scheme.

7. Does the Council expect members of the public to believe that it has spent £237,000 on an "aspiration" rather that a Council PLAN?

Yours sincerely -

Alan Rundle.

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Good Afternoon

 

Thank you for your request made under the Freedom of Information Act.

 

As has been previously stated in response to your requests concerning the
proposed development of Birket Valley, a planning application has not been
submitted and no final decisions have been made. All options therefore
remain open, and public participation will be invited as per the standard
planning approval process (this is in addition to the public meetings
detailed below, which you have received in response to previous
enquiries).

 

The idea for a golf resort stemmed from the Hoylake & West Kirby
Masterplan. In our response to your enquiry regarding the Greater
Concourse Project, West Kirby (FOI 857125) you were informed that the
following public consultation meetings were held regarding the Masterplan.

 

27/9/04 – Hoyle Rd Community Centre, Hoylake

28/9/04 – Kings Gap Court Hotel, Hoylake

5/10/04 – Concourse, West Kirby

6/10/04 – Westbourne Hall, West Kirby

 

Additionally, minutes of all meetings of the West Wirral Area Forum are
available on the Council website at [1]this link (meetings can be found by
browsing the Calendar function). In 2013 the Area Forums were replaced by
Constituency Meetings, which are available at [2]this link. All public
meetings are advertised on the Council website and, when appropriate, in
local press and Council buildings.

 

Kind regards,

 

Sent on behalf of

 

Tracy O'Hare

Information Management

Transformation and Resources

Wirral Council

 

This information supplied to you is copyrighted and continues to be
protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to
use it for your own purposes, including any non commercial research you
are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for
example commercial publication, would require our specific permission, may
involve licensing and the application of a charge.

 

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Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Public meetings held to specifically discuss a 285 acre development on GREEN BELT land.'.

You argue that the idea for a golf resort as a product of the Hoylake & West Kirby Masterplan.

You state that public meetings were held.

One problem that you have is that public participation has NOT taken place when all options were open and when public participation could have been effective.

You have failed to provide any information that any previous public participation has genuinely taken place or has been effective, in any way shape or form.

You have failed to provide any information that identifies precisely when Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council introduced the notion of a 285 acre golf resort (including a 250 bedroom hotel, conference centre, spa, car parking and associated roads) on greenbelt land bordering West Kirby and Hoylake.

You have failed to provide any information that identifies precisely who, on behalf of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council introduced the proposal for a 285 acre GOLF RESORT on greenbelt land.

It is very difficult to find any members of the public who support the idea of building a Golf Resort on 285 acres of greenbelt land.

Can you;
(a) provide information about the height of the proposed 250-bedroom hotel?
(b) provide the numbers of West Kirby residents who have been invited to participate in the decision-making process and have completed Council questionnaires, since June 2005, concerning Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council's pan for a 285 acre golf resort?

(c) provide the numbers of Hoylake residents who have been invited to participate in the decision-making process and have completed Council questionnaires, since June 2005, concerning Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council's pan for a 285 acre golf resort?

(d) provide a copy of any questionnaire (with specific dates), presented to members of the public, concerning plans for a 285 acre GOLF RESORT on greenbelt land, bordering Hoylake and West Kirby?
A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

Yours faithfully,

Alan Rundle

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Good Afternoon

 

Thank you for your email.

 

It is unclear what aspect of the Council’s response you would like to be
reviewed. In our response, the Council provided you with the relevant
details of public meetings which had been held to date on this subject,
and explained that as a planning application has not been submitted all
options for the site remain open.

 

Should you be dissatisfied with the information that was sent to you
specifically in relation to the recorded information you have asked for,
please detail the nature of your complaint and it will be allocated to an
officer for review.

 

In response to your additional questions, as there has been no planning
application submitted, the Council has no recorded information to provide
to you relating to the prospective height of a hotel. All planning
applications, once submitted, are available to view on the Council website
at [1]this link.

 

By their nature, all local residents are invited to all Area Forum or
Constituency meetings.

 

As no formal plans for the site have been submitted, no questionnaires
have been circulated to residents.

 

The process of public consultation on submitted planning applications is
defined by the National Planning Policy Framework for England, and can be
viewed on their website at [2]this link.

 

The Council has provided you will all details of public meetings and
participation on this subject to date in response to numerous requests
made by you under the Freedom of Information Act. Please note that the Act
contains specific provisions under Section 14(2) to address the repeated
requests by a member of the public for information which has already been
provided within a reasonable time period. There is little likelihood that
the Council’s response to queries on this subject will change until a
formal planning application has been submitted, at which point all
information will be published on our website at the link above.

 

Kind regards,

 

Sent on behalf of

 

Tracy O'Hare

Information Management

Transformation and Resources

Wirral Council

 

This information supplied to you is copyrighted and continues to be
protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to
use it for your own purposes, including any non commercial research you
are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for
example commercial publication, would require our specific permission, may
involve licensing and the application of a charge.

 

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Edward Duggan left an annotation ()

Your response is long overdue. What do you propose doing?