Decision about The Grange deferred after council website blunder

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The chair of Wirral Council’s planning committee has described the local authority’s website as “crap” after councillors were forced to defer a decision on an application to build apartments on the site of The Grange in West Kirby.

Prospect Capital UK wants to demolish the Victorian detached property and replace it with apartments, with the scheme recommended for approval at Thursday night’s meeting.

But the proceedings had to be adjourned after local councillor Jeff Green, who was objecting to the proposal, told the committee that he was surprised that the matter was being considered when the consultation had not yet ended.

After checking the council website, officials explained that although the consultation had ended in December, it appeared that a mistake in labelling an objection had triggered the system to launch a further consultation period, until 17 February. They recommended the decision be put off to allow further comments to be made before the closing date.

The errroneous date on the planning section of Wirral Council’s website

It was not the only error , as council officials earlier had to correct the report accompanying the application, which wrongly named Blueoak Estates as the developer.

Cllr Stuart Kelly described it as “not satisfactory in the slightest”, and apologised to the applicant and objectors for a wasted journey.

He then became visibly angry, telling those in attendance: “You’re not going to be inconvenienced any more by sloppy IT in this council. I’ve said before about this website again, and again, and again that it’s rubbish and it’s about time we started to do something about it as a council.”

He added: “I’m fed up of it because it goes on and on with this planning website. I think we need a report and we need the developers of this website in front of us to explain why it is so crap, we really do, or the Chief Executive of this bloody council to explain himself.”

At a previous planning committee meeting, on 11 January, a decision over an amended application for ‘The Links’ apartments development had to be deferred after it emerged there was an error in the scaling of the documents submitted.

The Grange application will now be considered at a meeting in March.

Top image credit: Ainsley Gommon Architects