This is the formal record of the meeting.
HOYLAKE GOLF RESORT – Public Meeting
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Summary of the public meeting 26th May 2016, 7:30 pm, Hoylake Chapel, Hoylake.
There were about 80 people present at the meeting, split between the local townships approximately Hoylake 40%, West Kirby 40%, Meols 20%.
Attending : Cllr Gerry Ellis (Hoylake and Meols) and Cllr Bruce Berry (Moreton West and Saughall Massie).
Councillors and Officials received personal invitations.
Apologies for absence : Margaret Greenwood MP, Cllrs Blakeley, Patrick & Williams.
The Committee apologises for any omissions and will gladly make corrections.
Chairman Paul Nelson
Hoylake Neighbourhood Plan Chris Moore & Mark Howard, Hoylake Vision
Hoylake Golf Committee concerns John H Hutchinson, Committee Chairman
Ecology if the Resort site Dr Hilary Ash, Wirral Wildlife
Planning and the Green Belt Neil Parry of The Wirral Society / CPRE
Opening remarks : Paul Nelson welcomed everyone. The purpose of the meeting is to make people aware of what is proposed for the Hoylake Golf Resort. It is apparent that many people are either unaware of the proposal or unaware of its potential impacts.
He had been asked by the Committee to say that it is aware of the lack of past speakers supporting the Golf Resort but this was because none could be found and because Council has not sent someone to present its case.
Submission : “Process and Benefits of the Hoylake Golf Resort” by Council's Regeneration and Planning Service can be read on the HGR website with all of the following presentations.
Submission can be read here
Statement in lieu of attendance : Council's Chief Executive Officer and Head of Regeneration and Planning was read out.
"Thank you for the invitation to the meeting on 26 May 2016. Unfortunately, due to other long standing commitments neither I, nor the Chief Executive, is able to attend. You will be aware that I gave an update report on the Hoylake Golf Resort project to the West Wirral Constituency Committee in February 2016. During that report I noted the concerns that had been expressed about the project and advised that the JVG would be commencing the technical phase of the project shortly and that this would take approximately 12 months to complete. When it was completed the Council would re-consult on the project, prior to the JVG submitting a planning application which would then be subject to statutory public consultation.
At the present time the Council does not have the detailed technical information which you are seeking but when it becomes available it will be consulted upon. In the meantime there is little further that I can add. I hope that this explains the current position."
Presentations given by the speakers are published separately, with links, from this summary. Given here are the Questions and Answers that followed each presentation.
Chris Moore and Mark Howard, Hoylake Vision.
Presentation will be here when available.
Reply : The Hoylake Neighbourhood Plan could have effects outside the Hoylake area but there is nothing to prevent Frankby, Greasby, Irby, Leasowe, Moreton, Saughall Massie and Upton from producing their own neighbourhood plans.
John Hutchinson, Golf Resort Committee.
Presentation can be read here
Comment : Plans to straighten or improve Heron Road and Saughall Massie Road should not have to be tied into a new development.
Comment : There is need of affordable new homes, not luxury homes.
Comment : Wirral Borough has 14 golf courses, four of which are Council owned with three that it cannot sell.
Question : Should Council be spending money on a Golf Resort when there are far more important issues in Wirral such as of the differential in health and life expectancy between East and West Wirral?
Reply : Council is spending about £80,000 on a feasibility study for Heron Road and has spent about £240,000 on consultancy despite swingeing cuts to social services.
Reply : Council has said that the complete cost of the work is not recorded and that the cost of future external support has not been estimated.
Comment : The validity of the Golf Resort scheme must be considered against the Capita Symonds Report of November 2006 that says, in summary, any developer would have difficulty proving the “very special circumstances” necessary to build a hotel in the Green Belt. The proposal, with 150+ houses added, must make the task of proving “very special circumstances” very difficult.
Comment : Replying to a question regarding improvements to the Southern end of Carr Lane and hedgerow cutting, a farmer said that the work had been done to improve farming yields and productivity.
Comment by Chris Moore : The Royal and Ancient is not backing the Hoylake Golf Resort. The net benefit of the previous “Open” was £75 million with no indication of benefit to Hoylake.
Dr Hilary Ash, Wirral Wildlife
Presentation can be read here
Comment : The impact on feeding and roosting birds sheltering from bad weather on the Dee Estuary needs to be properly analysed in the Environmental Impact Assessment.
Comment : Wildlife exists on appropriately managed golf courses such as Caldy.
Neil Parry, Wirral Society / CPRE
Presentation can be read here
Comment : Judicial or High Court review is possible within six weeks of a decision but it is costly.
Cllr Gerry Ellis' address concerning his grave concerns was very well received. His statement can be read here
Late comment : In response to a comment about the dramatic drop over recent years in golf played, Chris Moore said that the numbers playing golf was keeping level due to there being more casual golf in lieu of membership.
Late Request : A petition was requested.
Late comment : JHH said that for an impression of what the Golf Resort might look like, the Jack Nicklaus Machynys golf resort website should be visited.
Another Jack Nicklaus resort, but local, can be seen at Carden Park
Chairman, Paul Nelson, closed the meeting recommending that the next meeting should be held in one of the adversely affected townships before thanking the speakers and audience.
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