PLANS to build a multi-million pound hotel complex at West Kirby seafront have been scrapped by councillors.

The Sail project, which was set to cost around 10m, included a 45-bed boutique hotel and had been labelled as Wirral's answer to Liverpool's exclusive Hope Street Hotel.

Alan Beer of Carpenters Developments - the firm behind the proposals - said he was dismayed.

He told the Globe: "It is absolutely bizarre that the council has made such a decision.

"This is a council who are talking about making 6,000 staff redundant and yet they are rejecting plans to bring money into the area and create jobs. To be turning down a private sector investment is utterly mystifying."

A series of public meetings with local residents had highlighted a strong opposition to the development with the loss of 86 car parking spaces in the area becoming a major issue.

A report to last night's meeting of Wirral Council cabinet had recommended that, subject to approval, further talks should be held with developers Carpenter Investments over clinching the deal and an assessment document should be produced on the traffic management and parking impacts of the proposed scheme.

Gerry Ellis, ward councillor for Hoylake, remained firmly opposed and called on the cabinet to ditch plans to build on the site.

He believes that regeneration is important for the seaside town but not at the proposed site.

Cllr Ellis said: "Throughout the Labour administration, we took every opportunity to speak against it. We all agreed that the school was in need of a refurbishment and redevelopment.

"But this scheme will bring total traffic chaos to West Kirby because of the number of people wanting to use the hotel and therefore using up spaces.

"I have supported every development for the town and I would love to see a hotel in West Kirby but just not here. The council is currently undertaking a consultation with the public about services and what they think.

"And I believe you should take notice here because the residents do not want it.

"Please kill it off tonight and let us get on with our lives in West Kirby without this dreadful thing hanging over us."

Lib-Dem councillor Gill Gardiner said that opponents to the project were failing "to see the bigger picture."

She said: "What we want is a world-class sailing school and a high quality hotel. And I believe Carpenters can deliver that. I seriously worry we are missing a golden opportunity and we should look at the long term vision of the regeneration of Hoylake and West Kirby."

Cllr Gardiner and her party colleagues were outvoted by six to three by Conservative members of the cabinet, after council leader Jeff Green declared an interest and left the meeting.


THE GLOBE