Up to 13,500 new homes are to be built as part of the Wirral Waters regeneration plans, with construction starting on Phase 1 of the plans in January 2021.
Sally Shah, Chief Regeneration Officer at Wirral Council said, “Wirral Waters is the largest regeneration project in the UK and housing is a key feature of the development. With outline planning permission being in place for up to 13,500 [residential] units over the next 25 years.”
In November 2017, the council made a bid for a central government grant from the Housing Infrastructure Fund. They were successful in being awarded £6m for Wirral Waters in February 2019. Sally Shah pointed out that it was the only scheme in the Liverpool City Region that secured funding at that time. The money will be used for infrastructure and public realm works.
Phase 1 of the Wirral Waters regeneration project consists of three developments all on brownfield sites:
- Urban Splash/Peel joint venture. The construction of 347 modular two- and three-story townhouses due to start in 2021 and built to high sustainability standards and techniques.
- Belong Village. Residential property for dementia care for in excess of 100 residents. In addition to independent living provision, there will also be 24-hour care & nursing facilities.
- Wirral Waters One (also known as the Legacy Project.) This will consist of 500 one- and two-bedroom apartments, with 20% being affordable. This £90m development is a joint venture between Peel and Wirral Council and is due to start in early 2021 and be completed by the end of 2023.
There will be two public squares and walkways along the dockside. A contractor has been approved for the public realm works and again, work will start in early 2021.
At yesterday’s meeting of Wirral Council’s Housing Committee, Alan Brame, Liberal Democrat councillor for Oxton said, “It’s great to see progress being made on this project.”
Stuart Whittingham, Labour Councillor for Upton raised concerns that there were currently no transport links that serviced the Dock Road area, providing access to the three developments. Sally Shah agreed and said that the “apartments need to be accessible by public transport.” She added that there was a mass transit study in place and public transport will service the area, by the time the first residents move in.
Jenny Johnson, Conservative Councillor for West Kirby & Thurstaston raised concerns that the properties could be bought up en-masse by buy-to-let companies, leaving a possibility of a vacant development with no community. Sally Shah responded by saying, “It’s all about the creation of a community” and that she would make sure processes would be put in place to ensure that individuals, not corporations come forward to purchase.