Wirral Waters Surges Ahead
Plans to build more than 1,100 homes at Liverpool City Region’s multibillion-pound Wirral Waters site have progressed despite the ongoing challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The regeneration project is one of the largest in the UK and is focused on transforming the semi-derelict Birkenhead dock system.
It has the potential to create 20,000 jobs, with outline planning permission in place for 13,500 homes to be built over the next 25 years.
A trio of sites are the focus of the scheme’s most recent progress.
In November 2017, Wirral Council submitted a £6m bid to the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) programme to support the developments.
This was formally approved in February 2019 and cabinet agreed to accept the deal the following month.
The grant was to enable a package of infrastructure works to advance, including land remediation, public realm and utilities provision. These would allow 1,106 residential units to come forward across a trio of developments by an Urban Splash and Peel Land and Property joint venture, a Wirral Council and Peel joint venture, and a village proposed by Belong Wirral.
A report to Wirral Council’s housing committee has now noted the progress made.
“Since the grant has been in place, works have progressed to remediate the land with these now being completed on target despite the challenging circumstances of managing the works during the Covid-19 emergency and national lockdown,” it said.
“A contractor has recently been appointed to undertake public realm works to create a waterfront boulevard and two public squares.
“There has been a short delay in the appointment caused by the pandemic and a shortage of available materials. It is anticipated, however, that works will commence in January 2021.”
An update was also given on future funding opportunities, with the announcement by government of a follow up Housing Infrastructure Fund programme in March 2020 allowing Liverpool City Region partners to prepare for bidding on key sites.
A housing pipeline and extensive consultation was used to identify 30, which included some in Wirral that reflect “key regeneration opportunities in line with the emerging Local Plan”.
“Work will continue with the Liverpool City Region to explore opportunities and to ensure that the council is positioned to take advantage of any future funding,” said the report.
The committee will meet on 26 November.