CONTROVERSIAL plans for a community allotment in Birkenhead Park have been approved.
The scheme - for 12 plots with car parking spaces and cctv
cameras on land near the Grade One listed park’s Ashville Road entrance - was given the go-ahead by Wirral Council’s planning committee on August 1, subject to a number of conditions.
The project, which is supported by the Friends of Birkenhead Park, is part of a wider programme of work planned for the park and the allotments will be used by social groups, including schools.
But more than 100 nearby householders handed in a petition to the planning authority calling for the proposal to be scrapped, fearing it would lead to the historic venue’s gradual destruction.
Among the protestors is Joe Stronach, from Ashville Road Residents’ Group, who says the council has “let down and alienated the local community” by giving the go ahead.
He said: “It’s disappointing that planners have not considered the opinions of local residents or the schools who use the park.
“They have wilfully ignored the views of residents, stakeholders and three local schools, despite the fact that this community is central to the sustainable future, involvement and security of Birkenhead Park.
“Half of the allotments in Bidston are presently vacant, so the council cannot really say there is a need for any more.
“The proposal amounts to nothing more than a crude cash grab for investment.
“Apparently, there will be no funding for the allotments after two years, so I don’t know what will happen after that.
“I have been in contact with St Anselm’s college who are prepared to buy the land for use as a sportsfield.”
Although the scheme was approved by the planning committee, it has still to go before the council’s ruling cabinet on September 4, where it will be considered along with an application by St Anselm’s College in Birkenhead to turn the site into an all-weather sports pitch.
A council spokesman said: “Cabinet will be considering the proposals for development of the land adjacent to Birkenhead Park on Ashville Road at their meeting on September 4.”