Plans for 335 homes overlooking Mersey not going ahead for now

Plans for 335 homes overlooking the River Mersey will not be going ahead in an area set for a nearly £23m upgrade.

£5.21m of a fund used to help deliver brownfield land developments had been set aside for the development of 335 homes on what is currently the Land Registry building at Rose Brae Court in Birkenhead near the Woodside Ferry Terminal.

However, the project had stalled by July 2023 due to ongoing negotiations with the Government Property Agency who said it was ensuring “the best possible value for taxpayers”.

The funding overseen by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority comes with a deadline of March 2025 for house building to have started on the site but Wirral Council has now said the development “cannot go ahead until the current tenants are ready to move” with funding to be distributed elsewhere across the Liverpool City Region. In August 2023, the council said it was in discussions for alternative locations to use the funding.

The development was a key part of the council’s Woodside Masterplan which hopes to capitalise on the area’s views of the Liverpool waterfront as well as connections via ferry, bus and train. The masterplan aims to be “an exciting opportunity to help shape the future of the waterfront and create a sustainable new community at the heart of the city region.”

Current plans said the area will provide around 630 new homes but this could rise to more than 1,700 homes within the waterfront area and around 2,560 in total in the wider area if longer term ambitions become reality.

The first stage of investment in the area is due to begin in the next year with £22.7m set to be poured into the waterfront, Hamilton Square, and Argyle Street. Money will also be invested in the Woodside Ferry Terminal as well as an upgrade of the U-Boat Story museum.

Despite the project stalling at the Land Registry building, an August 2023 council housing trajectory suggests 180 homes will be delivered off Church Street with the first of those delivered in 2026 and an extra 600 homes could be delivered in the area by 2040.

A Wirral Council spokesperson said, “Rose Brae is within the Woodside Masterplan area where considerable work on infrastructure and redevelopment of the area is soon to start.

“Rose Brae is currently used by Land Registry however the site remains a key location for potential development but this cannot go ahead until the current tenants are ready to move. It is anticipated the council will be involved in this site’s redevelopment in the future and a subsequent round of funding may be sought to support this.

“Wirral Council will secure all funding possible to support the borough’s regeneration but it would not be appropriate to attempt to keep allocations tied to schemes that the council no longer plans to move forward with inside the requisite timescales and thereby deprive other locations of access to the funds.”


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