Dock Branch Park
Optimised Environments vision for Dock Branch Park

Birkenhead’s 20-year framework launched

Neil Tague

An eight-week consultation has been opened as Wirral Council seeks to set out planning guidelines for “the most radical changes to Birkenhead since the 1947 Town Plan”.

The proposals are outlined in the Birkenhead 2040 Framework, with key elements including a park along the disused Dock Branch railway; the opening out of the Mersey waterfront and the development of the Hind Street area into a low-carbon neighbourhood of up to 1,000 new homes.

Funding has already been secured to remove the two flyovers to the Queensway Tunnel to open up a pedestrian-friendly connection between this area and the town centre.

Further big ticket elements include a new mass transit system and potentially a district heating network, along with improved walking and cycling routes, as Wirral looks to corral projects advancing under various streams sych as Future High Streets and Towns Fund.

The framework has been developed by Avison Young, Optimised Environments and Mott McDonald.

Over the last year, work has progressed on the comprehensive overhaul of Birkenhead town centre by the Wirral Growth Company, a joint venture between the local authority and Muse Developments.

In December, PP O’Connor was engaged to demolish part of the Milton Pavements retail complex ahead of a start on site this summer with 150,000 sq ft of offices.

The commercial district masterplan includes a further 130,000 sq ft of offices, along with 36,000 sq ft of retail and a new location for Birkenhead Market.

2040 Birk

Elsewhere, progress has been made at Peel L&P’s Wirral Waters, with residential schemes advancing in partnership with the likes of Urban Splash.

Parts of the emerging Birkenhead masterplan will sit within the Left Bank proposal, a looser promotional programme for residential development along the Mersey-facing part of the Wirral peninsula. Also covering areas such as New Brighton, Liscard, New Ferry and Bromborough, this also invovles Homes England the Liverpool City Region Combied Authority.

Cllr Anita Leech, deputy leader and chair of Wirral’s economic regeneration and development committee, said: “In drawing up this vision we started by asking people what they would like to see that would really bring new life to Birkenhead, and we have listened to what they have told us.

“We know that we need to move forward quickly and work has already started in the town centre and at Wirral Waters. We are keen to hear your views so that we can continue to move ahead with the regeneration proposals. We would like you to look at these proposals and tell us what you think.”

Catalyst projects

  • Wirral Waters
  • Dock Branch Park
  • Commercial District
  • Birkenhead Landing
  • East-west Cultural Axis
  • Woodside Gyratory
  • Mass transit
  • Bikenhead District Heating Network

Neighbourhood areas

  • Central Birkenhead
  • Birkenhead Waterfront
  • Hind Street Urban Village
  • Wirral Waters and Portside
  • Hamilton Park
  • Scotts Quay
  • Seacombe Riverside
  • Northside
  • Bidston Moss

Consultation on the Birkenhead 2040 Framework opened on Wednesday 24 March and runs for eight weeks.

Woodside

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