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 tom.martin@champnews.com
Friday, 29 August 2014 (3056223)
Maghull and Melling in 'land swap' for Neighbourhood Plans
by Tom Martin


A LITTLE bit of Maghull could become Melling - and a little bit of Melling may become Maghull.

It’s all in the name of protocol - and in fact the present Melling will still remain Melling - and Maghull remain Maghull.

This on the face of it confusing state of affairs in all down to the two parishes’ Neighbourhood Plans.

The fact is that both have identified areas of land on their parish boundaries as possible sites for development - and in both cases the parcel of land would in fact cross their boundaries to the east of Maghull.

And Sefton Council has pointed out that this would make life very difficult for any developer who wished to submit plans for their two small pieces of territory which would mean that each site would be covered by two different Neighbourhood Plans.

Guidance on neighbourhood planning says in effect that Sefton can refuse to designate any such plan if it considers the area is “not appropriate.”

Ideally, boundaries should follow strong physical features and not include any area that included any part of another’s.

Maghull’s Town Clerk, Angela McIntyre, told Councillors at a meeting last week that Sefton Planning Department proposed that a joint Neighbourhood Plan for Maghull and Melling would overcome this problem but neither parish council is keen on this idea because their plans focus on different aspects of their communities.

Now though, Maghull and Melling councils have been liaising to move this project forward and following discussions a protocol between the two councils has been proposed which would see Maghull taking responsibility for the entire site of land to the east of Maghull, while Melling would take a parcel of land for the proposed site at Ashworth Hospital East - should this be adopted by Sefton MBC for inclusion in its Local Plan.

The protocol allows for a closer working relationship between the three councils.

Miss McIntyre added that these “transfers” would be for the purposes of the Neighbourhood Plan only - the actual boundaries between the two parish councils would remain the same.






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