Comments in relation to the potential land transfer of land in Formby from Sefton Council and the National Trust have been received.
Earlier this month, Sefton Council published a formal notice considering the disposal of land to the northern and southern side of Lifeboat Road (Formby Point).
The closing date for comments was March 22 with most correspondence in support of the scheme. This included a petition with 69 names on it in full support of the potential land transfer.
Positive conversations have taken place and will continue regarding the transfer of land at Lifeboat Road and Ravenmeols from Sefton’s ownership to The National Trust.
If agreed, it would see more than 204 hectares become part of the National Trust Formby portfolio which is home to one of the very best mobile sand dune habitats in the entire UK.
The comments made will now form part of a report going to Cabinet in May which will look at the possibility of transferring the land to the National Trust.
Sarah Kemp, Executive Director at Sefton Council, said: “So far the feedback over the potential transfer of land in Formby to the National Trust has been very supportive.
“We strongly believe this potential land transfer will enable the National Trust to make a significant contribution to the outcomes of the Sefton 2030 Vision. It will also enable a positive impact in terms of managing the broader landscape for the benefit of people, the local economy, natural wildlife and the environment.
“Further discussions will take place with National Trust with the view of transferring the land to them to develop a richer visitor experience with local communities and secure the future of this extraordinary coastline. This will be reported back in May.”
The dunes themselves are home to rare wildlife including sand lizards, Northern Dune Tiger Beetles and the rare Natterjack toad. The pine woodlands that fringe the coast provide a wonderful habitat to rare and much loved red squirrels.
The significance of the land at Lifeboat Road recreation area and Ravenmeols has been recognised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Special Area of Conservation and Special Protection Area.
Rebecca Burton, National Trust Assistant Director of Operations, said: “We are really encouraged by the feedback received to the potential land transfer and the petition in its support. We appreciate just how important the Formby Coast is to the people who love it and use it and for the rare wildlife that makes its home here.
“As we head towards the milestone 50th anniversary of our care for land at Victoria Road on 12 April, our aim is to continue to ensure that this special place can to be used and enjoyed by future generations. We want to continue caring for and protecting this special piece of coastline, working closely with our neighbours, key stakeholders and partners.
“We are excited about the future opportunity the land transfer would offer to invest in things that local people and users have told us they would like. These include better visitor facilities and access, working alongside local people to shape our plans.”
The potential land transfer coincides with 2017 being the Year of Sefton’s Coast and also the 50 year anniversary of the National Trust in Formby.