State of the moratorium on new residential properties in West Wirral

by Nick 29. July 2011 14:32

We have recently been asked by a client to review the possibility of constructing a house on a plot of land within their garden. The plot is very capable of taking an additional dwelling and had previously obtained outline Planning Approval, which has since lapsed.


Earlier this year there was talk that the moratorium on new residential development in West Wirral, which has existed since 2003, may be partially lifted due to new Planning Guidelines and the preparation of new ‘Local Development Frameworks’.


This was reported in the press and the Heswall Society Newsletter suggested there was a possibility for some residential development in our area on a modest level.


On this basis we consulted with the Local Authority Planning Department and were advised as follows: -


  • Currently the Interim Planning Policy is still in place and would be applied to applications for development outside regeneration areas.


  • Following consultation the Council’s intention is to replace the Interim Planning Policy ‘New Housing Development’ when the Core Strategy for the Local Development Framework is adopted towards the end of 2012.


  • The preferred option for the proposed Core Strategy is to continue to focus new housing on previously developed sites in areas where regeneration is a priority.


  • Release of greenfield land in West Wirral is ranked lowest in order of preference for new housing development.


Garden land is no longer considered ‘previously developed land’ due to a directive from the Government as part of changes to Planning Policy Statement 3. As the preference would be for Brownfield sites it is therefore currently unlikely that Planning Permission would be approved for the development of housing within the garden plots of West Wirral properties.


We do, however, understand that there will be further consultation and an opportunity to submit representations for consideration when the Draft Core Strategy is prepared later this year.


With the situation currently in a state of flux, any landowners considering such development should monitor how the policies develop prior to making any decisions.


Nick Belderbos

For and on behalf of                                                      July 2011


With thanks to Wirral Planning Department for their valued advice






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