Planning decision on Bromborough housing and sports facilities ‘imminent’

Ellesmere Port-based Elan Homes have said that a decision on plans for 104 new homes on the site of the former Octel Sports Club in Bromborough is expected within weeks.

Included in the plans is the provision of a new home for Bromborough & Eastham Junior Football Club and the creation of new changing facilities within a refurbished community use building.

The plans for new homes were originally submitted to Wirral Council in 2020, and following feedback from planning officers and Sport England, revised proposals were put forward in 2023.

The plans are for 104 homes, including a range of apartments, semi-detached and detached family homes from two to five bedrooms. 21 of these units are designated affordable housing to be either rented or shared ownership, which represents an overprovision on site when confirmed to council policy and vacant building credit regulations.

The Octel Club ceased operations in early 2020 and the site owners have confirmed that it will not re-open.

In a statement, Elan Homes said, “Instead, as part of the land has been previously developed, the site provides the opportunity to deliver significant new housing in a location which reduces the need for Green Belt development in the Wirral.

“Retained existing woodland on site, along with substantial new planting and open spaces, a central space with an equipped play area, and a tree-lined avenue provide an attractive setting for the proposed new homes.”

The Former Prices S&S Club

The proposal will also address Sport England’s requirement for replacement sports facilities with a legal agreement to deliver new football pitches at the former Prices Sports Club at Bromborough Pool, alongside refurbishment of the derelict building on the site. 

In addition to the replacement facilities and to supplement the overall sports mitigation package, developer contributions are also proposed to provide wider benefits to a variety of sports including cricket, tennis, and bowling.

All works at the former Prices Club will also be procured and funded by the developer of the Octel site. Bromborough & Eastham Junior Football Club will operate and manage the facility to serve the club’s 600 local boy and girl members aged between 4 and 16.

The club, with 35 registered teams, actively promotes junior football, including participation in various leagues. It is also an accredited FA Wildcat Centre, encouraging young girls to engage in extracurricular physical activities with a focus on fun and friendship.

If planning is approved at both sites, the derelict former Prices Club building will be transformed into a community centre with multi-functional spaces and changing rooms.

External works include the creation of two new sports pitches, tree and hedge planting, and additional parking. The club facilities at Bromborough Pool will also be available for the community to hire when not in use by the club.

Rhys Platten, Chair of Bromborough & Eastham Junior Football Club said, “This will be truly transformative for our club and its members. Since we established in 2015, the club has grown rapidly with over 600 members across 35 registered teams, catering for children of all ages and abilities.

“However, there is huge demand placed upon existing pitches in Wirral. We are currently operating across several pitches in different locations, without a single base. 

“While we will still need to use pitches elsewhere in the borough, if these plans are approved this will not only create new pitches for the area, but it will also finally give us a ‘home’ from which we can operate. The club is community-focused and our aim is to bring these facilities back into use for the benefit of the whole area.” 

A spokesperson on behalf of Elan Homes said, “A decision on these two planning applications is imminent. If both applications are approved the development proposals will deliver much-needed new housing in the area, without encroaching on the Green Belt.

“As it seems likely that Wirral’s Local Plan will not be adopted until 2025, approval of the Octel application would demonstrate evidence to the Planning Inspectorate that Wirral has boosted its short-term housing supply, which could in turn be beneficial in ongoing discussions regarding the emerging Local Plan.

“The site owners have made it clear that the former Octel Club will not re-open and therefore approval of the residential element will provide certainty for neighbours of the site, which is currently vulnerable to anti-social behaviour.

“New homes here will also generate the funding to allow us to deliver a fantastic community asset at Bromborough Pool, which will contribute towards the shortfall of sporting provision across the area. We look forward to these planning applications going to Wirral Council’s planning committee for a decision.”

Image: The Dunes in Formby showing the typology of house designs that could be built in Bromborough

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