Birkenhead is one area where LCR is aiming to deliver more homes. Credit: via Wirral Council

Liverpool City Region joint planning vision moves forward 

A 193-page draft spatial development strategy proposes the construction of 83,000 homes by 2040 and earmarks almost 1,300 acres for employment development. 

In the works since the Liverpool City Region’s devolution deal in 2015, the spatial plan sets out where new homes and industrial units will be built in Liverpool, Halton, St Helens, Knowsley, Wirral, and Sefton over the next two decades. 

The SDS aims provide a joined-up approach to development to keep pace with the city region’s growing population. The number of people who live across the six boroughs is expected to increase from 1.5m to 1.6m by 2040. 

View the draft plan here 

It is similar in scope to the controversial Places for Everyone plan, which includes nine of the 10 in Greater Manchester boroughs. 

Under the LCR SDS, development would be focussed in three areas: Liverpool city centre, the inner urban area – places including Birkenhead and Bootle – and various towns within what is being called the wider urban area.  

These include Earlestown, Huyton, Kirkby, Prescot, Runcorn, St Helens, and Southport, and Widnes, where large-scale regeneration projects are already underway. 

Some Green Belt release has been necessary to meet housing and employment needs, according to the draft SDS.  

Halsnead Garden Village is one scheme that has required some Green Belt relaxation, while land east of Halewood and east of Maghull is also in line for release. 

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority will meet this Friday to approve a 12-week public consultation on its proposals. The consultation will run until February 2024. 

This will be the third consultation on the SDS, following engagement exercises in 2019 and 2020. 

A report to the LCRCA states that there is a “risk associated” with not progressing the plan now following the passing of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill into law. 

The LURB stipulates that all plans must be submitted by the end of June 2025 if they are to be examined under the current plan-making rules. Missing that deadline could result in significant delays to plans such as Liverpool City Region’s SDS. 

“Plans submitted after that date will need to comply with the new plan-making processes [set out in the LURB], and whilst the detail of that new process is not known, it is likely to require a thorough review of much of the work undertaken to date”. 

The combined authority also plans to run a call for sites, an invitation to landowners and site promoters to submit information on strategic-scale land parcels which they consider appropriate for development. 

Learn more about development across LCR’s six boroughs by attending Place North West’s Liverpool City Region Development Update next week.

Your Comments

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If you want to get as many homes as possible inside Liverpool’s central area they have to relax their height restrictions around areas like Leeds St and Parliament St.
Also throughout the LCR homes need to be built near rail stations, or where abandoned lines exist these should be reopened and housing developments built near new stations, that would be joined-up thinking.

By Anonymous

How soon until there is a continuous suburban sprawl between Liverpool and Manchester? Greenbelt release is a disaster for our cities and the environment. Build up not out

By Anonymous

I think the messaging may get muddled about this document and the lay person may think that the housing figures are above and beyond those already sought for/provided in any Local Plans, which may increase the potential for and volume of negative comments.

I say that as I baulked at the mention of further development in Southport and to the east of Maghull until reading the document and seeing that it relates to allocations already present in Sefton’s Local Plan. And so I wonder how many lay persons could pick apart the hierarchies and context of policy planning?

By JohnMac

Great to see the SDS progressing and focusing on what counts – social value, the environment and safer placemaking.

By anonymous

placemaking this years latest must use phrase ? its meaningless nonsense.

By Anonymous

It’s funny how, when it comes to ‘social value’, no one ever seems to place any value on the risk developers take; on the jobs and supply chain income they provide; nor on the huge taxes they generate that help pay for our schools and hospitals. You’d think a Conservative government would champion these things, but they’ve swallowed the same woke guff as the rest of them. Me? I’ll quietly raise a glass to the lads and lasses whose vision and risks keeps most of us on here in work. I’ve got three kids depending on them.

By Sceptical

How much is social housing, the benefit system does not pay anough to pay the falsely called affordable housing, rates, ?

By Anonymous

Dear Sceptical: Enterprenerial risk is covered by the rate of interest or expected profit (you only risk your bet; the cost of bankruptcy is paid by everyone else: that is the wonder of Limited Liability (a law invested by land-owning Tory aristocracts who wanted to bet on the stock exchange. Social/economic value does or should cover all the other things you listed. Economic (social) value is also key for measuring not only wealth creation but also wealth extraction. Employed execs close a factory and millions of social/economic value is lost, but the shareholders/execs benefit from cheaper employees in Slovakia. There are two sides to the economic/social value coin.

By Anonymous

No plans to increase density or allocate new sites in or adjacent to the south of Liverpool. Exclusionary zoning in practice!

By Construction Enthusiast

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