Designs are still being finalised for the project. Credit: Wirral Council

Clearance work starts on Dock Branch Park

The programme will allow surveys to be carried out as Wirral Council lines up a 2023 start for the flagship project, billed as “Birkenhead’s High Line”.

The park scheme will bring the disused Dock Branch railway line in Birkenhead to life, with the first phase creating a linear pedestrian- and cycle-friendly park between Tower Road and Argyle Street.

In addition, it will provide a new transport visitor attraction operated by National Museums Liverpool, linking to the existing Wirral Transport Museum.

Following public consultation last September, a team is developing designs for the park that reflect ideas and aspirations that residents have said are important to them.

In order to establish the parameters for designs, Wirral’s professional team now needs to carry out accurate surveys of the site, examine existing structures and remove asbestos. In order to do this, some areas are being cleared to allow for vehicles and equipment to carry out these investigations.

This work is expected to take two weeks and will include the careful felling of some trees and vegetation clearance. The site currently provides a unique corridor for wildlife, therefore a number of measures are being taken to protect and enhance it.

Clerance will be kept to a minimum, with any felled trees to be stored on site with the aim of reusing as much of it as possible within the new park design.

When completed the park will be enhanced to provide a minimum of 10% biodiversity net gain.

Professionals that have been engaged on the project include Optimised Environments, Mott MacDonald, BDP, BBHS and destination expert Event. Walker Sime is the project manager and QS.

Wirral Council’s director of regeneration and place, Alan Evans, said: “Dock Branch Park will be a landmark new green space where people can reconnect with each other, nature and heritage.

“It’s important that the park not only offers new space for people but also preserves and enriches the existing natural environment. The work being carried out over the next few weeks will ensure that we get a park that will boost biodiversity, make the most of the site’s unique heritage, and create somewhere that our communities will be proud of.”

The main construction programme on Dock Branch Park is expected to start in autumn 2023, with the park set to be complete early in 2025.

There will be multiple opportunities for the public to be involved in the process along the way, the council said.

Dock Branch Park is described by Wirral as a major catalyst project within the Birkenhead 2040 Framework, which also includes the creation of up to 1,000 homes as part of a low-carbon urban village on the vacant land around the Hind Street area.

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