Hoylake golf resort: Axe £26m loan, say councillors

Protesters at Wallasey Town Hall
Image caption Campaigners continue to fight plans for the golf resort

Public money should not be loaned to fund a controversial golf resort on Merseyside green belt, say councillors.

Members of a Wirral Council committee said the council's "limited resources" meant it ought to withdraw its offer of a £26m loan for the scheme in Hoylake.

The £200m resort, featuring a hotel, two courses and housing, was hailed as a way of regenerating the area, but has attracted criticism from campaigners.

The BBC has approached the company behind the resort for comment.

The council's cabinet will be asked to make a final decision on whether to support the loan at a meeting on 8 July.

'Expensive and unnecessary'

At a meeting of the Business Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Thursday, a motion to discontinue the funding agreement won unanimous cross-party support from its 13 members.

In its report to the cabinet, the committee said it believed "the council's investment profile and limited resources would be better served if this business venture was funded on the open market, rather than through council borrowing".

Image copyright Wirral Council
Image caption The plans for the site, close to Hoylake station, include housing, two courses and a hotel

A motion to withdraw the loan offer was proposed by members of the council's Labour group, which had previously voted in favour of the development.

Labour members of the committee said the resort was "expensive and unnecessary".

Labour lost its majority on Wirral Council in May but continues to run the authority.

The development is being planned by Wales-based Nicklaus Joint Venture Group.

Phil Simpson, who chairs the Stop Hoylake Golf Resort Campaign, said he would continue to fight the plans.

"This was a major factor in Labour losing seats at May's elections and the people of the Wirral have shown that they don't want this development," he said.

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