Wirral Council regeneration director stepping down

The council chief in charge of major development plans for Wirral is stepping down after just over a year into the job.

David Hughes was hired as Wirral Council’s Director of Regeneration and Place in January 2023, several months after the local authority’s previous director Alan Evans left in July 2022. He has held multiple roles at other councils across the country, including at Liverpool City Council.

The role, according to Wirral Council’s website, is paid between £119,507 and £132,564 a year and is one of the most senior roles within the organisation. It oversees planning, housing developments, as well as management of land and buildings the council owns.

Wirral Council has now confirmed Mr Hughes plans to retire from the role. This comes at a particularly crucial time for the local authority as its draft Local Plan is currently under government inspection with initial findings recommending a number of major changes to the plan with a requirement to deliver a minimum of 14,400 homes. It is understood the role has a notice period of six months.

The Local Plan will guide development over the next 16 years on the Wirral with a focus on regenerating areas like Bromborough, Birkenhead, and Seacombe with no development designated for green belt areas in west Wirral.

It has been previously reported by the LDRS that during his time at Liverpool City Council, Mr Hughes had previously said he was “just not convinced” a brownfield first strategy that prioritises building on land already developed “will work”.

A Wirral Council spokesperson said, “Wirral Council’s Director of Regeneration and Place, Dave Hughes has announced he plans to retire from his role leading the borough’s ambitious regeneration programme.

“Mr Hughes joined Wirral Council in January 2023, moving from Newham Council in London, and following a lengthy career which has seen him in high-profile leadership roles in planning, regeneration, and economic growth across the country.

“During the last year, he has led Wirral’s Regeneration and Place directorate as it has pushed forward with developing and preparing to deliver numerous multimillion pound regeneration schemes across the borough, including the purchase the Pyramids and Grange in Birkenhead to enable regeneration of the town centre and the Local Plan inspection hearings – a major milestone for the borough, and there are plenty of very exciting and advanced plans in the pipeline for Wirral.

“Wirral’s regeneration plans are amongst the biggest in the country, and with a new senior regeneration team now in place, the council is now in a strong position to press ahead with its bold regeneration plans and deliver the ambitious regeneration it needs and deserves.”

Mr Hughes was also approached for comment.

Image: Director of Regeneration David Hughes (left) at an Economy, Regeneration, and Housing Committee. Credit: Wirral Council

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