Developer Harworth Group has won a £2m grant to fund the first phase of a long-awaited housing development outside St Helens.
The grant, from Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Single Infrastructure Fund, is intended to help bring forward the first 240 homes of an anticipated 900-home development at Moss Nook.
The 95-acre brownfield site, located off Watery Lane two miles outside St Helens town centre, has a lengthy planning history. Outline plans for the site were first submitted by the previous landowner H.J Banks & Company in 2003, but permission was not granted until 2017.
That application proposed 1,200 homes but the scheme has since been reduced to 900 homes. Yorkshire-headquartered Harworth, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, acquired the site from H.J Banks in 2018 as its first in the North West. The first phase comprises 16 acres of the total area.
Cushman & Wakefield advised Harworth with its funding application while Turley was planning consultant.
Work is expected to commence later this year with the entire project expected to take between eight and ten years to complete. Contractor VHE is on site carrying out remedial work.
Steve Rotheram, Liverpool City Region metro mayor, said: “We have a very clear policy that we should look at brownfield sites first when building the homes that we need in our city region.
“As land previously used for mining and other industrial processes, and located close to the centre of St Helens, Moss Nook is exactly the type of brownfield site we should be developing.”
Matthew Whiteley, development manager at Harworth Group, said: “Moss Nook is Harworth’s first residential development in the North West and this grant provides the impetus to bring forward the site’s first phase to market later this year and will finally begin to fulfil the potential of one of the Region’s largest single residential developments following years of stalled development.”
Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Single Infrastructure Fund launched in 2018 with a remit to allocate £500m to infrastructure projects in the ensuing four years.