Derwent ‘agrees development plan for Edge Lane’

Michael Hunt

Liverpool City Council's executive board are expected to approve long-awaited plans for a new £200m retail park at a meeting on Friday.

Following on-going talks between the council, Liverpool Vision, and the owner of the current Edge Lane Retail Park, Derwent Holdings, controlled by Kwik Save tycoon Albert Gubay, the council's executive board could give the go-ahead on a framework for the Edge Lane central area at its meeting on Friday 15 January.

The area incorporates a number of sites including the Retail Park, Rathbone Road recreation ground and the former Ian Skelly car showroom site. Currently there are a number of disused sites and buildings in the area, including on the main Edge Lane frontage.

The development framework, which covers 28 hectares, provides the basis for a comprehensive redevelopment of the area, with an aim of creating a more vibrant gateway into the city centre.

The existing Retail Park is to be upgraded to offer 600,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space, costing around £200m.

Work will begin with the creation of a new park at the Robinson Willey site which will involve the existing Rathbone Park being turned over for leisure use.

The Skelly site is to be redeveloped as an extension of the Rathbone Hospital, including extensive landscaping, while the land currently occupied by the Halford's building will be developed for light industry with a new frontage to Edge Lane.

The work will be phased to keep disruption to a minimum, but environmental improvements on some of the sites fronting Edge Lane will begin as soon as members agree to the development framework.

Existing businesses affected by the plans will be relocated to the north side of Edge Lane following talks and the area between the new park and the Retail Park will be linked by environmental improvements and improved pedestrian routes.

Once the framework is approved it is planned that local businesses, residents groups and other agencies will be consulted on specific elements of the scheme as they emerge, starting with a new community park.

Cllr Warren Bradley, leader of Liverpool City Council, said: "Edge Lane is a vital part of the city. Not only is it a major residential and employment area, it is many visitors' first sight of Liverpool when they leave the M62. In recent years the image presented has not been a good one to say the least."

Jim Gill, chief executive of Liverpool Vision, added: "The Edge Lane corridor is a key priority for Liverpool Vision and we can now move ahead with an exciting and comprehensive vision for the whole area.

"The new Rocket junction and Edge Lane Drive have been transformed, the Innovation Park has a spectacular new entrance and a new road which links Edge Lane and Wavertree Road and work on Edge Lane West has now begun after significant delays.

"A positive decision on the Central area and the future of the Retail Park not only enhances the city's out of town retail offer but will bring further benefits to residents, businesses and the city as a whole.

"It will also mean significant investment opportunities at a time when development activity has been curtailed in the current economic downturn and likely to be for some time and this can only be welcomed."

DPP advised Derwent.

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This needs to be done quickly as this is a very dangerous and depressing gateway into Liverpool.

By Simon

as a resident of the area that will updated on the eisting park ie Binns Rd, Oceanic Rd and Sapphire Rd, I would genuinely hope that the early morning deliveries that were happening on the existing area, will not be repeated at the opening of the new businesses. Yes we had factories the whole length of Binns Rd many years ago, but all were closed for night by 7ish but seems planning did not think too far ahead, grante no problem for a few years until superstores became the fashion and end of good night sleeps. Not wantint to be a party pooper, I think it will look amazing. All I am asking is the residents comfort and safety are foremost in the minds of planners. Thank you

By tina Holmes