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Councillor seeks answers on coastguard site building plans

A BLUNDELLSANDS councillor is seeking reassurances over the future of Crosby’s coastguard station site.

The station, on Hall Road, is one of eight Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) centres to shut as part of a government reorganisation of the service.

The centre, which covers waters from the Point of Ayr, on the Dee Estuary, through Merseyside, Morecambe and South Cumbria, all the way up to the Mull of Galloway, is due to close next year with the loss of up to 20 jobs.

Campaigners who had feared the closure would lead to a loss of life at sea are now fighting to ensure that any sell- off of the land occupied by the station benefits the local community.

Blundellsands ward councillor, Veronica Bennett, said: "We lobbied long and hard against the closure of the coastguard station, but now we need to ensure that any sell-off of the site is done so as to benefit the whole community.

"That means in terms of the application itself, and also any financial benefits.

"The site is a prime location for any development.

“We need to make sure that any plans are in the interests of the community and not to its detriment."

Eleven UK centres will remain and they will all operate 24 hours a day, with the station at Holyhead, in North Wales, chosen to stay open rather than Liverpool.

Cllr Bennett is querying with Sefton Council what is planned for the site.

Sefton Council officers are currently investigating.

Crosby & Blundellsands Labour Action Team's Ben Murphy said he wanted the site to be used for the benefit of the community.

Mr Murphy said: "Hundreds of people contacted the Labour Action Team when we were campaigning to save the coastguard station.

"Many of them also mentioned that they wanted to ensure the site was kept to benefit the community should the station be closed. The coastline is regularly visited by the people of Sefton and the surrounding area, and it would be a shame if the site could not be utilised to provide a service to the community, or to enhance the experience of visiting the beach.”

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