Benmore consults on Speke leisure plans

Michael Hunt

Benmore Group is seeking views from the public and other interested parties on its proposal for a leisure and entertainment development at a 50-acre brownfield site adjacent to New Mersey Retail Park in Speke, south Liverpool.

The proposals envisage the creation of a mixed-use development including hotels, a multi-screen cinema, gym, hotels and restaurants at the site on Speke Road which is currently used as a vehicle storage yard.

The scheme could be open by the middle of 2012.

A new website has been launched to capture the public's thoughts on the proposals, which coincides with the start of the public consultation events.

The Belfast-based property development company is holding a public consultation exercise at New Mersey Retail Park at the following times:

  • Thursday 1 July, 10am-5pm
  • Friday 2 July, 10am-5pm
  • Saturday 3 July, 10am-3pm

In addition, Benmore is contacting local residents with information and a freepost questionnaire, as part of a commitment "to undertaking a wide-ranging consultation exercise with a number of parties interested in the proposals".

Benmore anticipates that it will submit a planning application, the first phase in detail and subsequent phases in outline, during the summer with a possibility that it could be determined by the council's planning committee before the end of the year.

The development site, which is owned by Benmore, is located at an arrival and departure gateway for visitors arriving in the city from Liverpool John Lennon Airport and the M56 motorway from Cheshire and North Wales.

David Burrows, chief executive at Benmore, said: "It is our objective to speak with as many people as possible who will have an opinion on the proposals. The principle of this development is wholly positive for the ongoing renaissance of the Speke/Garston area and will complement existing developments and bring activity to the area during the evenings.

"We are writing to all residences near the development to ask their views, will hold a series of roadshows at the New Mersey Retail Park and have launched a website which contains lots of information.

"The people of Liverpool are never shy in coming forward with their ideas and suggestions and we hope to obtain some valuable insight into what residents, local businesses and our would-be neighbours think about our plans."

Cllr Joe Anderson, leader of Liverpool City Council, added: "Such major investment from the private sector is extremely welcome in the current economic climate. These proposals would complement the existing retail facilities at Speke, improve one of the city's key gateways and create significant new job opportunities in an area where they are needed."

To view the plans visit the new website or to arrange to have information sent by post call 0151 239 5000 and ask for a Speke Leisure park information pack.

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