£55m development on former Cammell Laird land could create 500 jobs

A major £55m industrial development in Wirral that could create more than 500 jobs could be given the go ahead this week.

Peel L&P, the company behind Wirral Waters, has applied for planning permission to build a nearly 500,000 square foot industrial building with 72 loading bays for lorries.

The land was once part of the River Mersey before it was incorporated into the Cammell Laird shipyard between the 1920s and 1950s in Birkenhead. The site is near Green Lane railway station.

Peel said it is planning to invest £55m into the site and according to the company, the development will create 535 new full-time jobs, the plans would add nearly £23m in value to Wirral every year and increase business rates by an estimated £700,000.

A further £600,000 is also expected to be spent at nearby businesses.

It is up for approval on 8 June by councillors despite two objections that it is an overdevelopment and could increase traffic on the roads.

There have also been objections from Essar Oil which runs the oil terminal in Tranmere carrying up to 9m tonnes of crude oil a year. Essar is concerned they might not be able to “reduce major accident hazards to reasonable practical levels” if the development goes ahead.

They said this was particularly important as their site is considered “critical national infrastructure” due to its transport of oil adding: “National policy and guidance is clear that existing nationally important infrastructure must be protected against inappropriate development in its surrounds, presently and into the future.”

A planning committee report also said other objections argued the junction modelling on the roads was inaccurate and the number of lorries going in and out of the facility could be nearly 500 a day.

Concerns about the impact on a response if the Tranmere Oil Terminal caught fire were also raised. However, transport authorities and fire services have not objected to the proposal.

Recommending the plans for approval, the report said, “The redevelopment of this site would, in summary, provide a modern employment generating facility on an allocated employment site within a designated industrial area well connected to existing infrastructure.

“The proposed development is sustainably located, will not prejudice highway safety or neighbouring amenity, have biodiversity and visual benefit, preserve heritage, not pose flooding risk or have other negative environmental impacts subject to mitigation measures asset out in the attached conditions.

“The proposed development is not considered to prejudice existing businesses including neighbouring critical national infrastructure. The development would result in part of the loss of a waste allocation but for the reasons outlined above and in consideration of the adopted planning policy as whole, the material considerations in favour of the proposal are considered to outweigh any limited harm.”

Image: A 3D illustration of how the new Peel building could look. Credit: Peel L&P

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