Mulbury faces refusal in St Helens due to Green Belt harm 

The housebuilder’s plans for almost 1,000 homes on the former Eccleston Park Golf Club have proved controversial. 

St Helens Council’s planning officers have recommended the 123-acre Eccleston Park Village be rejected because of the harm it would cause to the Green Belt. 

A report to the council’s planning committee, which is due to discuss the proposal next week, also says the developer has not provided enough detail on affordable housing, education contributions, and biodiversity mitigation. 

Mulbury is seeking planning approval for a hybrid application that could eventually see almost 1,000 homes built on the former golf course. 

In addition, the developer wants to build an 11,500 sq ft health centre, 4,000 sq ft retail store, and a 7,000 sq ft nursery. 

Detailed elements of the proposal include the first two tranches of homes: 162 houses including retirement accommodation on 10 acres off Portico Lane, and 183 homes on 13.5 acres off Rainhill Road. 

Outline consent is sought for the other elements of the scheme, including the remaining 617 homes. 

Summarising its recommendation to refuse the application, officers said they “attach moderate weight to the benefits of housing delivery, limited weight to the health centre and moderate weight to the economic benefits of the proposals. On the other hand, officers attach very substantial weight to the harm to the Green Belt.” 

The project garnered more than 700 objections. 

Mulbury consulted on a masterplan for Eccleston Park Village in May 2020. The golf course has been closed since 2018.

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