The local authority has signed off on a masterplan for Liscard, but councillors asked for further advice on acquiring the Co-op store in New Ferry to enable a mixed-use development.
Wirral’s economy, regeneration & development committee met on 22 November.
Advised by LSH, council officers had proposed that Wirral buy the Co-op unit for £700,000. Along with other buildings the council is seeking to buy, the shop would be demolished, enabling a new residential and retail scheme to be built.
The store unit is 20,000 sq ft on a site of 0.63 acres.
Since the store’s closure, the Co-op has looked for a buyer without success. Wirral is keen to create an attractive development on a site close to the popular Port Sunlight area, and is looking to access funds from the capital programme strategic acquisitions fund.
Cllr Andrew Hodson headed several voices asking for a second opinion on the valuation, to which can be added £125,000 for demolition. Should the matter be overcome, Wirral officers hope to appoint a preferred developer early next year, ahead of being on site in late 2022.
Establishing a framework to guide development in Liscard fared better. Wirral opened a consultation process in October 2020 on its plans to invigorate the town centre, a key hub for areas north of Birkenhead on the peninsula – the Neighbourhood Framework for Liscard was prodiced by BDP, supported by AspinallVerdi and Curtins.
The project sits within the Left Bank project also taking in New Brighton, Bromborough, New Ferry and Birkenhead.
The main observations made were that transport must be a key part of the plan, and that Liscard must have a distinct offer from the development programme in Birkenhead.
Important projects include:
- The Cherry Tree shopping centre: two options are proposed for the development of the retail hub last modernised in 1991. The main elements though are demolition of some older units, the development of a new anchor food store, upper floor residential and a multistorey car park.
- Dominick House: an empty office block next to the Cherry Tree centre, this is likely to e repurposed as residential with other uses at ground floor.
- The Gyratory: reorganising roads around the town centre (Liscard Crescent, Mill Lane, St Alban’s Road, Wallasey Road) to better promote pedestrian and cycle space and public realm.
- Two-lane cycleway along Seaview Road: Liscard is part of phase two of the Liverpool City Region’s CWIP project to improve cycling infrastructure, in a route linking New Brighton to Birkenhead.
- Consolidation of car parking: as part of the Cherry Tree centre scheme, parking there will go into a three-level multistorey, while the Seaview Road car park will be used for housing. This scheme could dovetail with plans for the Capitol Buildings’ rear portion.
- Liscard Way improvement: the town centre’s main public space will receive new lighting, paving and street furniture. Mother Redcap Place and town centre gateway sites will also receive improved public realm.
- Central development site: four retail units on Liscard Way to be redeveloped, with 5,000 sq ft of ground floor retail and 14 apartments above are proposed.
- Tower Place: a new street and open public space to be ormed as part of the Cherry Tree development, forming a direct connection between Liscard Way and St Alban’s Road.
- Burns Avenue: a site currently occupied by two automotive businesses is proposed for residential development.