There are four large development opportunities being pursued by the local authority in Knowsley:
1. Knowsley Industrial Park
- Site Owner: Knowsley Council
- Close to Kirkby town centre
- Largest industrial area in Merseyside at 1,000 acres
- 600 businesses resident
- Close to M57, Port of Liverpool, airports
Future: Subject of an independent review by DTZ, Arup and Taylor Young. Maurice Gubbins, development service director at Knowsley Council, said: "As a borough we need around 100 acres of fresh employment land in the next 10 to 15 years and part of our thinking is we need to see if Knowsley Industrial Park can provide that. The review gives us the chance to look at green energy production and developing the park as a low carbon specialist employment site."
Among the private developers active on the park, Spencer Holdings currently has a planning application in for a mixed-use scheme at the entrance to its Nexus Business Park, pictured. The proposed Gateway scheme covers approximately 4.45 acres and will provide offices, a hotel and retail units.
The council hopes Knowsley Industrial Park will be included in the NWDA's Regional Strategic Site list in the future and can tap into opportunities arising from the proposed Mersey Superport
2. Prysmian Site, Prescot
- Site Owner: Prysmian, formerly Pirellli Cables
- 61.4 acres of former factory land
- Close to Prescot town centre
- Currently allocated for employment uses within the UDP
Future: Dale Milburn, service director for economy and employment at Knowsley Council, said: "This is one of the largest employment sites in single ownership in the region. We are talking to various parties from a funding perspective and we may be looking at a partnership agreement although Prysmian would rather sell. It may be that we review the planning policy and consider part residential on the site but there would be no large retail."
The site is complemented by various private developers delivering their own projects such as St Modwen at neighbouring Prescot Business Park.
3. Cronton Gateway, former Colliery site
- Site Owner: North West Development Agency in association with Land Restoration Trust
- Site of former Cronton Colliery
- 106 acres
- Situated to the south of the M62
- Physically separated from the urban area of Huyton and Whiston, with intervening areas of green belt
Future: LRT has masterplanned the greening up of the area for the creation of a country park. Further reclamation and ground remediation is required to the site. Dale Milburn, at Knowsley Council, said: "There are two flat areas which could be suitable for development which are not covered by the LRT country park. But the whole site now counts as green belt which would make development difficult. We are looking at it from a leisure use perspective."
The green belt is to be reviewed as a whole, with consultants to be appointed, and a draft study is due to be completed in autumn 2010.
4. Roscoe's Wood, Cronton Road, Huyton
- Site Owner: Braidwater (majority site owner)
- Prominent 21 acre site
- Adjacent to M57/M62 interchange
- Peninsula site, defined by major roads to three sides: M62, M57, A5080 Cronton Road
Future: An outline planning application was submitted in July 2009 for 305,600 sq ft office, light/general industrial, salt depot, with ancillary retail and hotel. Dale Milburn, of Knowsley Council, said: "We are in talks with the Highways Agency over its salt depot on the site which it says serves the M62/M57 and is not surplus. We want to relocate them elsewhere on site and have in principle agreement. We are also speaking to the NWDA about funding towards the infrastructure on the site to prepare for phase one of the business park."