Proposals crucial to the delivery of WiFi on the new Merseyrail fleet were voted through after a three month wait.
In June, Wirral Council’s planning committee voted to delay any decision on plans for five masts on railway land between Bidston and New Brighton, as it felt the plan was being imposed on residents who were not properly consulted by the applicant Merseytravel.
But last night councillors overwhelmingly approved the plans, by 12 votes to one.
Cllr Ian Lewis, who said in June that some of the masts were in “unacceptable location”, was still not satisfied with the reasons given for the placing of two of the masts in Wallasey.
The leader of the Tory group in Wirral Council said residents of Regent Road had the idea of relocating equipment onto Grove Road station car park, but this was not properly considered by Merseytravel.
It's never been more important to stay in touch with the news, so subscribe now to the Liverpool Echo newsletter. Twice a day, seven days a week, we'll deliver the biggest stories straight to your inbox.
We'll also send special breaking news emails too for the latest stories that matter. You won't miss a thing.
How do I sign up?
It's free, easy and takes no time at all.
- First just click on this link to our newsletter sign-up centre.
- Once you're there, put your email address where it says at the top, then click on the News button. There are other newsletters available too if you want them as well.
- When you've made your choice, press the Update Preference button at the bottom.
Cllr Lewis added he understood the desire for the application to be approved with all the economic benefits new trains will bring and that the agent’s consultation with concerned residents was better this time around.
This consultation was carried out despite planning officer Matthew Parry-Davies’ point that Network Rail has permitted development rights in this area and could carry out the work itself without going through the planning process.
The only reason this application was needed is because Merseytravel was the applicant, rather than Network Rail.
On the issue of using alternative sites for some of the masts to allay the fears of local people, Labour councillor Stuart Whittingham pointed out that one of the sites suggested would have meant a temporary closure of the railway line and huge expense added to the project.
Keep up to date with plans in your area by adding your postcode below
As well as these five masts, eleven more were approved with little debate for railway land between Bidston and West Kirby.
This proposal is for the same purpose as the masts between Bidston and New Brighton.