Knowsley Council’s planning committee has approved Ion Developments’ masterplan for the 57-acre Earlsfield Park in North Huyton.
The site sits close to junction 2 of the M57, lying between the motorway and Knowsley Lane. It is to house around 160 homes and at least 39 acres of employment land.
The existing Lord Derby playing fields and Oak Plantation on the site will be protected and enhanced, the council said.
Central to Ion’s proposal is what it has billed as a “hybrid employment park” with manufacturing, research and development facilities and sub-regional logistics space alongside more traditional office and workshop spaces.
The draft masterplan suggested that any first phase application would cover around 50,000 sq ft of manufacturing/R&D space.
In total, the scheme is to offer around 376,000 sq ft of light industrial or logistics space and around 21,000 sq ft of start-up business space. Bellway Homes is Ion’s partner on the residential element.
The developer, formerly known as Neptune, also proposes leisure and retail uses including a petrol station, a drive-through restaurant, a pub/restaurant and a 40–60 bedroom hotel.
Each part of the scheme will require its own consent. Ion is expected to submit its first phase application this autumn.
Cllr Graham Morgan, Knowsley’s cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, said: “Approving the masterplan is a major step towards securing the development of and investment into this important site.
“The new homes and employment will not only contribute towards the ambitious growth plans for Knowsley, but it will also contribute towards the economic growth of the Liverpool city region.”
Ryder Architecture has designed the scheme. In the draft masterplan report, Ion managing director Steve Parry said: “The site lends itself beautifully to a mixed-use development through the semi-rural location. An added focus on landscaping and creating an improved recreational area will make Earlsfield Park an excellent choice for both living and working.”