Castle Green example housing for Orchard Farm Thornton p Castle Green

The scheme comprises a mix of two-storey homes. Credit: via Castle Green

Castle Green buys Sefton site to unlock 200 homes  

The North Wales-based housebuilder aims to start work this week after snapping up the 18-acre Orchard Farm site off Holgate in Thornton from the local council.

The parcel of land at Southport Old Road and Holgate in the Sefton village has a complex structure that has to date prevented development plans from coming forward. Various applications for housing at the site – brought by developer Forth Homes with Castle Green – had been rejected or deferred in the past two years, before finally being approved in June.

The plot comprises three neighbouring sites on the northern edge of the village – Site B, which is 11.7 acres and bounded by the A565 to the west and Holgate to the east; Site C, which is three acres with the A5758 to the north and a cemetery to the east; and Site A which is nine acres, bounded by the A565 to the north and east and residential properties to the south.

The land encompasses the derelict Orchard Farm, which Forth Homes had initially wanted to develop into 14 dwellings, plus 30-40 additional homes on the surrounding land. This portion of the site had already been earmarked for disposal in 2019 as part of Sefton Council’s asset maximisation strategy.

However, the council later realised that redevelopment of Orchard Farm in isolation would have meant the council-owned land at Plot C would have been landlocked, so Sefton entered into an agreement with Forth Homes in 2020 for the latter to redevelop the whole of the site into 206 homes.

As part of the deal, Forth was obliged to bring on board a larger, strategic partner – Castle Green – to help it deliver the project. The partners secured planning consent for the project despite numerous objections from local residents and other stakeholders due to traffic concerns.

The proposal involved the closure of Holgate to traffic beyond a specified point, but the creation of a new vehicular access route onto Park View to resolve traffic issues.

Terms were agreed for a sale of the council’s land to Castle Green to enable the project to come forward, according to council documents published this month.

The sale was completed on Friday, a council spokesperson told Place North West. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Gwyn Jones, chief executive of Castle Green, added: “We are delighted to have secured land to deliver 206 high-quality homes in the Sefton area. This has been a collaborative approach with the team at Forth Homes and we look forward to seeing the development come to fruition.”

Under the plans, Castle Green and Forth Homes will demolish Orchard Farm and its outbuildings and construct 206 homes at the site, together with the access route from Park View, car parking, landscaping, and public open space.

The housing includes 68 two-bedroom terraced homes, 30 three-bed end-terrace homes, 57 three-bedroom detached properties and 51 four-bed detached properties. A total of 62 of the homes will be affordable.

The first housing completions are due in October 2023, and the whole scheme is expected to take up to three years to complete.

Grimster Planning was the planning consultant for Castle Green and Forth Homes.

Orchard Farm Thornton site map Castle Green p Forth Homes

The site is bounded by the A5758 and the A565 and sits just north of the village. Credit: via Forth Homes

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How can there be what appears to be only ONE exit from such a complex site ??? I do not recolect a frequent pubic bus service adjacent to this large site


I could not agree more with RWS’ comments.

Moor Lane/ Park View is already extremely busy. I understand the plans set out a change to the junction at the entrance to the site, introducing a new set of lights (at what is already a highly congested area).

Considering that the owners of these new homes will likely have at least 1 car each and will likely want to enter and leave the development at the same time – via the one entrance road! – it looks like a recipe for disaster…

By Anonymous

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