West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has slammed the latest move by Knowsley Council to evict endangered water voles from their habitat in Kirkby Brook to make way for Everton’s new stadium as part of the £400m Destination Kirkby project… which hasn’t even received planning permission yet.
The plans for a huge shopping development and new 50,000-seater ground for Everton football club are being led by supermarket giant Tesco, backed by Knowlsey Council, who have already bought huge swathes of land in Kirkby Town Centre despite a decision on the planning application being three months away.
“Once again Knowsley Council and Tesco are bulldozing ahead with their plans without any consideration of the planning process and in the face of massive objections from many people. The Kirkby proposal as it stands would effectively kill off any plans for regeneration in Skelmersdale in my constituency and affect neighbouring towns such as St. Helen’s, Southport, Wigan and Liverpool."
“This is a real own vole for Tesco and Knowsley Council, who are not doing themselves any favours by wilfully ignoring the views of the countless people who object to these plans and carrying on regardless of the fact that the Secretary of State is yet to make a decision."
“This latest move is astonishing. Not happy with issuing Compulsory Purchase Orders for a mass buyout of Kirkby Town Centre, they’re now being issued to endangered species. I don’t know what they have against water voles, perhaps they think they are Liverpool supporters?"
“I strongly urge the Secretary of State to send the plans back to the drawing board so that a more sensible development can be proposed, one that is complimentary to the regeneration scheme in Skelmersdale and other nearby towns."
“We have the potential to vastly improve the quality of life of communities in both Skelmersdale and Kirkby. I will be working hard to ensure that a fair deal is reached for all sides.”