HISTORICAL landmark Bidston Observatory is up for sale
And the site is being touted as a prime target for hotel, leisure and residential development.
Back in 2003, a plan to save the observatory complex and turn it into a museum and visitors' centre was drawn up in a bid to rescue the historical building when the National Environment Research Council which occupied the site - moved to Liverpool University campus.
Local people mounted a campaign to protect the future of the landmark, which they feared was at risk of being damaged by development.
The Bidston Observatory Preservation Trust had tried to save the building and turn it into a historical museum for the people of Wirral.
But their efforts to prevent planning permission being granted to convert the complex into flats failed when the council rejected their scheme as "over-optimistic and unrealistic".
However, the flats plan came to nothing and the observatory has been occupied since by "live in guardians" who are tasked with looking after the building in return for a low rent.
Now agents Mason Owen have been instructed to "market" the treasured landmark.
Today, Peter Crawford from the Preservation Trust said: “I’m utterly disgusted about the plans and find it appalling that the building is going to be flogged off.
"It should be retained as a public asset and not lost forever. To lose it would be an absolute disgrace.
“We have a heritage day in Bidston to show what the area has to offer, but there will be little point in doing this if our heritage continues to be eroded with plans like this.
“There’s no wonder that Wirral is in such a mess when its History
is being destroyed.
"We should be proud of what the building has contributed to our heritage.
"There’s are many reasons why it should be kept as an asset. Scientists have made many great discoveries in the observatory over the years."
The Mason Owen agency says the complex is "suitable for hotel, leisure or residential use."
Andrew Owen, head of the company's business space, said: "This is a unique opportunity to buy a piece of local History
"These plots are available individually and each one offers a prime development opportunity for residential, leisure and hotel.
"We are confident that this complex will attract a lot of attention from interested parties. All offers will be seriously considered."
The complex contains three plots extending to approximately 45,000sq ft.
Each plot is for Sale
separately, and includes the Grade II listed Victorian observatory and surrounding land, the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory and the site of the former Braehead Cottages.
Long associated with weather and tidal research, the observatory was relocated from Liverpool's Waterloo Dock in 1866.
In 1929 the work of the observatory was merged with the University of Liverpool Tidal Institute.
And it was the Tidal Institute, under the directorship of Professor Proudman, that was responsible for the most internationally-significant part of the observatory's History
The first tide-predicting machines in the world were created at Bidston.
As well as being utilised for commercial purposes, the machines were used to help with the war effort and D-Day Landings.