People living near a Merseyside beauty spot are furious about a plan they say will ruin their area.
The development, called Wirral Point, in Stanley Road, Hoylake , will replace one large house with nine high-end residential units if approved by Wirral Council .
The site is right next to Red Rocks nature reserve, one of the most iconic views in Wirral and a protected site of specific scientific interest (SSSI).
Terry Smith, who lives in Stanley Road, said locals were strongly opposed to the ‘millionaire flats’ plan.
He said: “I have lived in Wirral for almost 50 years and cannot think of another local issue which has caused as much fury and anxiety as this one.
“Social media is dripping with protests and wherever you go in the area people do not seem to be talking about anything else.
“The whole project is simply unbelievable and everyone is hoping that Wirral Council will do their civic duty and flatly reject the whole scheme at the earliest possible moment.”
Mr Smith, who founded Merseyside’s Radio City, added: “The design of the proposed building is quite awful – much more appropriate for a city centre car park than apartments expected to sell for millions.
“Then the idea of landing it where it overlooks a world famous golf course [one of the host venues for The Open and the Walker Cup], standing in Wirral’s most beautiful area enjoyed by tens of thousands of residents and visitors is simply ludicrous.
“Worst of all they are proposing that a four store high block overlooking and dominating Red Rocks beach might actually improve the area. [This] is incredible.”
Mr Smith is far from alone.
Stuart Hunter, who has lived on Stanley Road for 20 years, said: “The planned building does not fit with the overall form and layout of its surroundings given its size, height and prominence.
“This proposal will ruin the beautiful setting of the Red Rocks nature reserve, the beach, Hilbre Island and Royal Liverpool Golf Club , which currently combine as one to produce one of the Wirral's best assets.”
As well as aesthetic concerns, locals are worried this plan could affect wildlife in the area and exacerbate traffic and parking issues in Hoylake.
Steve McGlasson, who lives on Stanley Road, said: “It will surely have an adverse effect on the wildlife at Red Rocks and the surrounding area.
“There will also be traffic issues caused by this carbuncle in an area that is already a nightmare at weekends, all year round and throughout the spring and summer months.”
Resident Andy Creedon said: “This will stick out like a sore thumb and the light pollution alone will surely impact the local wildlife.”
A final issue for many was that the new residential units would be located in an area at risk of flooding.
However, not everyone was opposed to the plans.
Katie Welshman said: “I love the design [and] I hope it goes ahead. I lived in Hoylake for over 30 years and have seen so many changes and I can see where people are coming from.
“Hoylake does need a few upgrades, the older generation will not be there for long and if you want the town to continue then it needs to be modified.”
The development was designed by Falconer Chester Hall.
A spokesperson for the company, said: “The building there is visible, you can’t replicate it with a building that’s invisible.
“Just because you can see something, doesn’t mean it’s inappropriate.
“We asked for a heritage assessment of the existing building and that assessment said it was not of sufficient quality to be listed [and therefore to remain in place].”
On the style of Wirral Point, he said: “Style is subjective. There are already a multitude of buildings of different ages and different styles on Stanley Road. Buildings from the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s etc.
“This new building will be at the end of the road, it’s not as if it’s in a gap between two completely different buildings.
“This could be considered an opportunity to do something different. The building will have wonderful views of Red Rocks and it’s designed to slope like a pebble. So it has relevance to its beach location.”
Aside from the look of the new building, the spokesperson was keen to dispel what he saw as a number of myths surrounding the development.
“People have suggested there will be a nightclub on the first floor, that is not going to happen.
“On wildlife and conservation, an ecologist has undertaken as assessment of the area. They concluded that flora and fauna, animal habitats and particular grasses relied on by certain species of bird will be unaffected by this development.
“On parking. Each residential unit will have parking, possibly two spaces. These are high-end properties, people will not want to park their expensive cars on the road.”
Another allegation the spokesperson wanted to counter was the idea the plans will harm Royal Liverpool Golf Club.
“I met the club secretary last week and he was not aware of anything that suggested the Royal and Ancient [the body which decides where The Open Golf Championship takes place] would stop Royal Liverpool Golf Club hosting The Open in 2022 if this plan goes ahead.
“This development will attract golfers. I believe this is a statement of confidence in the location.
“If it’s pictured on the TV, it will give the impression of a location on the up. There is nothing about the development that harms the golf course.”
The final issue the spokesperson discussed was flood risk. He said the building will be built from ground floor level, above the predicted flood risk level.