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The National Trust have lodged an appeal against the refusal of planning permission for the relocation of the existing car park at Victoria Road, Formby


The National Trust have lodged an appeal against the refusal of planning permission for the relocation of the existing car park and restoration of frontal dune habitat.


Plans for major changes to the car park at National Trust Formby at Victoria Road Squirrel Reserve site that were set to be approved were refused last year. The proposals, submitted to Sefton Council by the National Trust, involve relocating the existing car park to an area further inland near woodland dunes. The current location of the car park is in a special area of conservation and its removal will allow sand dunes to reform in the area, The National Trust said.


Over 560 trees would be felled to build the new car park, with the applicant stating it could replace the trees on a one to one ratio to ensure no tree loss overall, however the report states this would not be a feasible option as the habitat being removed was “irreplaceable” although the loss would be balanced out by the wider ecological benefit of moving the existing car park.


Residents expressed concerns at plans to remove trees from the wooded dune area to create the new car park and citing the potential impact this could have on the area’s rare red squirrel population. It was also said they fear increased traffic along Victoria Road as a result of the proposals and querying why a Park and Ride scheme had not been considered instead.


A spokesperson for Sefton Council said: "Our reasons for refusing the application were that the application will result in the loss of 561 mature and semi-mature trees, which is an unacceptable loss of existing trees and associated woodland that will cause detrimental harm to visual amenity. This is contrary to the aims and objectives of Formby & Little Altcar Neighbourhood Plan policy ESD7 'Trees and Landscape' and Sefton Local Plan policy EQ9, 'Provision of Public Open Space, Strategic Paths and Trees'."


"The benefits of the proposal don't outweigh this impact and as such the proposal is unacceptable."


"The appeal will be dealt with by written comments from all concerned, and a site visit by an inspector from the Planning Inspectorate."


"The Planning Inspectorate wants to give everyone the opportunity to give your comments on the appeal. Any comments that were given at the planning application stage will be sent to the Planning Inspectorate and to the appellant. If you want to submit any comments on the proposals or, if you want to withdraw or modify comments made on the planning application, please write to the address below."


Please email to the address below before 12th February 2024 or your letter will be returned to you:

Email: planning.appeals@sefton.gov.uk and make sure you include the reference number:


Reference: APP/M4320/W/23/3331280


You can also write your comments to the appeal and send it to this address with the above reference but it must reach them before 11th February 2024.

Address:

The Planning Inspectorate

Planning Services

Sefton Council

Magdalen House

Trinity Road

Bootle

L20 3NJ


 

Original story:


Plans for major changes to the car park at National Trust Formby at Victoria Road Squirrel Reserve site that were set to be approved have been REFUSED.


The proposals, submitted to Sefton Council by the National Trust, involve relocating the existing car park to an area further inland near woodland dunes. The current location of the car park is in a special area of conservation and its removal will allow sand dunes to reform in the area, The National Trust said.


Several objections were lodged against the plans. Neighboring Formby Golf Club expressed concerns about potential noise and dust during construction and once the car park is operational, saying it was “disappointed” the National Trust had not consulted the golf club about the plans.

Residents also expressed concerns at plans to remove trees from the wooded dune area to create the new car park and citing the potential impact this could have on the area’s rare red squirrel population. It was also said they fear increased traffic along Victoria Road as a result of the proposals and querying why a Park and Ride scheme had not been considered instead.


Over 560 trees would be felled to build the new car park, with the applicant stating it could replace the trees on a one to one ratio to ensure no tree loss overall, however the report states this would not be a feasible option as the habitat being removed was “irreplaceable” although the loss would be balanced out by the wider ecological benefit of moving the existing car park.


The application was REFUSED. The planning Committee voted unanimously against the planning application for the new car park in the woodland at Freshfield. All parties, Lib dem, Labour and Conservative agreed to refuse the application.



A spokesperson from Sefton Council said: “A decision to refuse the application has been made. We are required to notify all consultees on the decision for this application type under The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017.”


“The reason for this refusal is that the application will result in the loss of 561 mature and semi-mature trees, which is an unacceptable loss of existing trees and associated woodland that will cause detrimental harm to visual amenity.”


“This is contrary to the aims and objectives of Formby & Little Altar Neighborhood Plan policy ESD7 'Trees and Landscape' and Seton Local Plan policy EQ9 'Provision of Public Open Space, Strategic Paths and Trees'. The benefits of the proposal don't outweigh this impact and as such the proposal is unacceptable.”


The application, including the decision notice, committee report and late representations can be viewed at https://pa.sefton.gov.uk/online-applications/.


Freshfield Caravan Park

The fight to save Freshfield Caravan Park still continues with the National Trust. The site are still in discussions with NT to allow an alternative access for the caravan site as their original road still remains blocked by NT with no permission to clear it.


There is still no access for cars to the caravan park which still has nine years remaining on its lease!

The residents are now allowed in for the Summer period as long as they walk into the site.


The report for the planning application added that concerns around access to the Freshfields caravan site, including around the build up of sand in front of the site, were outside the planning process as there were no changes proposed as part of the application.


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