Scott’s Quay housing plan for Seacombe back to drawing board

Wirral Council is looking to pull plans that could have led to 3,500 homes being built on the banks of the Mersey.

Wide-ranging plans to vastly increase housing in the Scott’s Quay area as part of the redevelopment of a significant part of Seacombe are to be recommended to go back to the drawing board after feedback from local stakeholders.

The proposals included up to 3,200 apartments and 300 houses as well as the equivalent of about 29 football pitches worth of green space. 13,000 square metres of office space are also proposed.

However, the plans are likely to be pulled at the economy, housing and regeneration committee next week after a number of issues were found in the area from poor air quality along the dock edge from shipping, noise issues, and an odour issue associated with storage tanks after “sniff tests” were carried out. Businesses like the Soccer Dome on Birkenhead Road also objected to the development plans.

Concerns were raised about the Scott’s Quay plans from a number of groups and businesses as well as the public. The Merseyside Civic Society raised issues about connectivity, design standards and the impact on existing businesses.

The potential loss of businesses like the Soccer Dome to redevelopment was also raised as a concern by the civic society and others. One person said it “is as close to a community that the local area has without tracking elsewhere”.

Frank Brennan who owns the Soccer Dome previously told the LDRS that businesses should have been warned of the plans in advance, adding they had led to “rumours and wild exaggerations of job losses and business closures” being rife on social media causing “initial hysteria”.

He said more engagement with businesses was needed, adding, “If only Wirral Council had invited groups of interested and affected parties in for talks, they could have had a vision for Seacombe that was practical and free.”

United Utilities, which operates a pumping station in the area, also stressed the council needed to “fully understand any site constraints as soon as possible so that the implications of our assets on development and the construction process can be fully understood and agreed”.

Some comments in a public feedback exercise were positive pointing to the need for housing in the area as well as the need for new services and infrastructure. However, concerns were raised about affordability and the area’s lack of public transport connections.

Unlike plans for Cleveland Street, Northside, New Brighton, and the Dock Branch neighbourhoods, the local authority’s officers argue more work needs to be done “to determine a sustainable regeneration strategy for the area”.

Several other masterplans are also in development from the area around Wallasey Town Hall to the Birkenhead waterfront and town centre with updates expected latest this year.

Due to the changes taking place, the council will also be reviewing its 2040 Framework for Birkenhead, a major document that outlines plans for the town and underpins the draft Local Plan. The Local Plan is currently being assessed and scrutinised by the government.

Image: GOOGLE

Why not follow birkenhead.news on Facebook, Twitter, and Threads? You can also send story ideas or letters to the editor to news@birkenhead.news