Ion gears up for Birkenhead development

The proposed removal of flyovers to enable regeneration south of Birkenhead town centre has been welcomed by Ion Developments, a key landholder in the area.

Ion acquired a three-acre site around the former Birkenhead Town station as part of a three-site purchase from the liquidators of the late Bill Davies’ Walton Group in 2017.

Earlier this month, Wirral Council said that having taken control of land in the area from the Homes & Communities Agency, it is in a position to remove the flyovers, parts of which were taken down in the 1990s, and progress development on what has long been a derelict stretch of land to the south of Birkenhead town centre.

Steve Parry, Ion’s managing director, said: “Since the purchase of the former Birkenhead Town Station site 18 months ago, Ion has been developing a vision to create a new neighbourhood in Birkenhead in parallel with the council’s other work in the town with the Wirral Growth Company.

“Our vision has been based upon integrating the Hind Street area with the remainder of the town centre, and the removal of the flyovers is fundamental to this. We are now pleased to hear that the council are adopting our vision as the way forward for this area and we look forward to working together to create this new neighbourhood.”

The Wirral Growth Company is the joint venture between the local authority and Muse, which was selected in February 2018 as development partner. In July 2018, council leader Phil Davies named Birkenhead town centre as a priority for the JV, with plans for a creative quarter, market, leisure scheme and residential, along with a commercial office district around Europa Boulevard.

The Hind Street area is of particular interest to the council in providing land for brownfield residential development on a site that has good access to two stations, in Birkenhead Central and Green Lane, reducing pressure to increase housing numbers in greener areas. Wirral believes that hundreds of dwellings could be brought forward.

Parry concluded: “Birkenhead is a key focus for Ion – we feel it is the right time to move the town forward and contribute to the future economic resurgence of the area. New sustainable housing is just one of the key components that will drive Birkenhead’s renaissance.”

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Streets and gridplan please. Time to extend Laird’s vision and restore Birkenhead as Liverpool’s left bank.

By LEighteen

@LEigteen – Birkenhead already ‘IS’ Liverpool’s left bank (L43). Massive massive potential there. Sleeping giant.

By L43

The aim should be to remove all the flyovers. They badly fragment Birkenhead. The Birkenhead tunnel should now be seen as the ‘local’ route linking to the city centre, much as the old Runcorn bridge is now being downgraded to improve Runcorn old town and create a nice environment for pedestrians and cyclists.

By Roscoe

The Wirral would have moved much faster if it hadn’t been politically tied to the Liverpool centric Merseyside. It is our success, not theirs.

By Heswall

@Heswall how do you know this? do you have a crystal ball?

By LionelRichTea

The Wirral needs its Liverpool City Region brand to sell itself across the world. Merseyside doesn’t mean much but Liverpool is recognised the world over. It’s a great asset!

By Roscoe

Wirral is forgotten and does not exist until it becomes useful to Liverpool.

By Prenton Paul

@Roscoe. to be fair i think liverpool need the wirral more than the wirral needs liverpool.

By Anonymous

Great point from Roscoe, but it shows how far psychologically some parts of LCR are behind Greater Manchester. The 9 boroughs that aren’t Manchester know their futures are totally interconnected with the fate of Manchester. There’s no reason why Birkenhead can’t play Salford to Liverpool’s Manchester, and begin to share the growth and create a bigger offer. Agglomeration works, the higher economic return to the bigger clusters is a fact. If you look at the trajectory of Birmingham and Manchester right now its no idle observation that they are the 2nd and 3rd largest metro areas in the UK, and hence have naturally higher concentrations of human capital, higher education, connectivity and innovation potential, and get bigger network effects from investment in transport infrastructure. That was the logic of Northern Powerhouse, but you have to fix your own backyard first.

By Rich X

In fairness Rich, I think people on the Wirral now recognise the importance of the Liverpool brand and have done for quite a while. A lot of the negative comments don’t come from people on the Wirral or from Liverpool City Region.

By Roscoe.

The remediation costs for this area (the site of the old gasworks) will be horrendous.
Is the council subsidising this through it’s brown field strategy?

By David McCormick

Sorry, but as a Wirral Resident I and the vast majority of actual Wirral Residents would agree that Liverpool city region hasn’t done anything for the Wirral. Infact quite the opposite.

We don’t associate with Liverpool City region and don’t want to be part of it. We pay into it yet see nothing in return with all money being spent over the Mersey. The only people who want it are our deluded Council leaders whos only interest is self promotion. If you know the Wirral you will understand that the Labour run council stand to be decimated in Mays elections due to there woefully inadequate management of Wirral.

They have stood by whilst Liverpool city region saps our resources and improves the Liverpool side of the Mersey to the detriment of Birkenhead. We don’t want any part of it.

Wirral Doesn’t need Liverpool, it needs to develop Birkenhead and stop money flowing out of the area.

WBC must prioritise Birkenhead and stop the ridiculous idea of developing greenbelt in area where housing simply isn’t needed.

Prioritise Birkenhead and Wirral Waters, stop sending cash over the Mersey for someone else’s benefit. Wirral is a green place and wishes to remain that way, this is the reason we attract so many visitors.

Oh and if you ask any Liverpool resident I would expect they don’t want to be associated with us either! just our free money to improve there city!

By Stato

It would be nice if the Wirral improved their waterfront to give those of us in the city a better view from our side.

By Liverpolitan

Agree with Stato on the need to prioritise Birkenhead for the benefit the whole city region and Birkenhead most. It should be like Salford but much much better!

By Roscoe

Wonder if Stato has ever wondered why his postcode area starts CH41, and if there is any coincidence that “Liverpool’s” ends at L40…

Sad, but it is true that recent times haven’t done much to reconcile Liverpool with its suburban towns on the other side of the water, at least among a certain type of person.

Hopefully current times will prove to be a decade long blip, and we’ll get back to presenting a more positive attraction.

In the meantime, the Wirral is in possession of half of our region’s city centre, which they currently use for an isolated and declining town centre. Here’s to any attempt to get that living up to its potential, with the funding coming from the Liverpool city region authority.

By Mike

There will always be an us and them element about Wirral and Liverpool, and I see a muck brighter future for Wirral working outside the LCR.

By Anonymous

My suspicion is a lot of the hardcore anti Liverpool crew online aren’t even from the Wirral, but see a useful opening in their quest to keep to keep the city region down in pretending that they are.

By Morgan

A Wirral resident saying Liverpool has done nothing for them when half of them work there, they’re missing the irony. Your council needs to help itself.

By Anonymous

It’s obvious they’re not from the Wirral! The few dinosaurs that are left aren’t interested in Birkenhead either… but they’re a dying breed. The vast majority of people on the Wirral want Birkenhead and Liverpool to thrive TOGETHER!

By Roscoe

Well said Roscoe. Wirral outside of the LCR will die. The way funding is allocated has changed, its the only game in town!


‘Wirral’ is a political construct that has now served its time and lost any sense of economic or cultural reality, either historic or imagined. Birkenhead only has a future in terms of its axis to Liverpool. The clue is in the title: a Metropolitan borough.

By LEighteen

The inner suberbs of Birkenhead are thriving oxton / claughton .More people need to live in the town centre this development connects to our gem Hamilton square ,great views over the river I think the council should look at Stockton on tees and altrincham to see what they have done and complement their bigger neighbours .Hopefully visitors to Liverpool can stay here to appreciate the better views we have of the waterfront,remember Brooklyn wasn’t always trendy.

By John sanders

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