The council is looking to gauge public views on the site to the east of Halewood, with three housebuilders, Redrow, Bellway, and Miller already on board to help deliver 1,500 homes across the 200-acre semi-rural site.
Working with consultants Optimised Environments, the council has drawn up a wide-ranging masterplan for the site, which was allocated for development under Knowsley’s Local Plan, adopted in 2016.
The site stretches from Higher Road to the south, through Finch Woods and Finch Farm, past Everton FC’s training academy, and north beyond the Liverpool to Manchester railway line, with the north-western boundary running along Ditton Brook.
Much of the site is currently in agricultural use, and existing buildings in the area include the Merseyside Dogs’ Home, houses and farms on Lower Road, and the RSPCA Liverpool branch on higher road.
Overall there are 19 different landownerships in the area; the RSPCA site is owned by Miller Homes; while other agricultural land parcels are owned by Redrow and Bellway. Redrow has the single largest plot at nearly 50 acres, while Bellway’s largest plot amounts to 30 acres.
Other plots on the site are owned by United Utilities, Knowsley Council, the Hesketh Estate, and Cheshire East Council, which owns a two-acre plot of woodland.
Under the proposed masterplan, Finch Woods will be retained and enhanced, while an area of meadow will also be retained to the North West, bordering Ditton Brook.
The site is also home to the grade-two listed grave of Blackie the war horse, which will be preserved and enhanced as part of the development.
Around 1,500 homes are proposed in the masterplan, with a mix of housing types and tenures being proposed. A quarter of these will be provided at affordable tenures, with 10% as affordable ownership and 15% split between affordable rent and shared ownership. These will primarily be two and three-bed homes.
Although no retail is proposed as part of the masterplan, access to existing shops in the district centre will be a priority, while upgrades to local education facilities and highways will also be supported.
Two consultation events are being held on the masterplan, and are due to take place on Wednesday 13 March between 3pm and 7pm, and on Saturday 16 March between 10am and 2pm at Halewood Leisure Centre on Baileys Lane.
The consultation documents can also be viewed here.
Cllr Tony Brennan, cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, said “This is an exciting new development that will offer a range of new homes that will be well-connected to existing local shops, leisure, health and other local services and amenities, with access to bus and train services as well as cycling and walking routes.
“It will offer greater housing choice for existing Halewood residents, including affordable housing options as well as attracting new people and families into the area. We would really like to hear community views about our emerging plans.”