Johnsons Bootle
The Johnsons site has been vacant since 2007. Credit: via Bond Media Agency

Liverpool City Region to sign off brownfield resi spend

Neil Tague

A further £36m is to be committed to building 2,600 homes on brownfield sites across the city region’s six local authority areas.

The Combined Authority meets this Friday, and will be asked to sign off on committing the remainder of its Brownfield Land Fund.

Fourteen projects are to be supported, eight of them promoted by the private sector – identified following an over-subscribed open call this summer – and six by councils. The private projects are expected to deliver around 1,400 homes and the public around 1,200.

A total of £11m committed last year by the Combined Authority is currently backing seven projects delivering 886 homes.

Several of this next tranche of sites chosen require remediation, which is where the LCR support will come in.


Sites from open call

Housing association projects feature heavily. In Sefton, two projects are to receive support: Onward Homes and Housing 21’s development in Hawthorn Road, Bootle, and Sovini’s development of the former Johnsons drycleaning HQ site.

There are also two approved projects in St Helens; phase three of Moss Nook, where Harworth is master developer, and Vistry Partnerships’ 167-home scheme in Thatto Heath.

The other four schemes are Regenda’s Grove Street development in Liverpool, Riverside’s Palacefields scheme in Runcorn, Livv Housing’s Sewell Street in Knowsley, and Peel’s Scotts Quay in Wirral, which at 482 homes is the largest proposal by a distance, with £5.2m to be contributed by the Combined Authority.

Local authority projects

Again, Wirral has the largest single project, with the Land Registry Building plot at Rosebrae Court in Birkenhead expected to see 335 homes delivered, requiring a further £5.2m from the LCR pot.

As with the private schemes, Sefton has two projects, with 63 homes at the Bootle High School site and 150 in Benthams Way.

Halton’s Foundry Lane project is the second largest of the six schemes, at 274 homes, followed by 227 homes earmarked as part of the St Helens town centre transformation programme.

Completing the list, Prescot Shopping Centre has 150 homes earmarked.


Steve Rotheram, metro mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “For too many people across our region, the chance to own a home of their own remains out of reach. To tackle the housing crisis and help more people realise their home ownership ambitions, we need to take serious action to get more homes built across our region.”

The sites represent only a beginning: according to the Combined Authority, 700 brownfield sites have been identified across the six local authority areas.

The updated brownfield register identifies 1,813 acres of brownfield sites which could provide space for more than 42,000 homes, if remediated.

Cllr Graham Morgan, LCR’s portfolio holder for housing and spatial framework, said: “We have ambitious plans to ensure that we tackle the housing shortage and deliver a great choice of high-quality homes, right across the city region.  Building on brownfield sites will be vital to that process.”

In a busy agenda, the Combined Authority will also be asked to rubberstamp ongoing work on the Mersey Tidal Power project, noting its importance as a central cog of the city region’s net zero plan.

There is also a quarterly update on the Strategic Investment Fund. New funding has been awarded to LCR in the form of £2.8m from the UK Community Renewal Fund, which will back five projects in areas of need; while the city reguon’s inward investment programme is to be expanded to allow larger businesses to be targeted rather than just SMEs.

Your Comments

Read our comments policy here

It`s always good to hear homes are being built but a big concern, especially in relation to actual inner-city houses ,is the actual design. Too many suburban-type houses with front and back gardens are allowed to be built instead of more appropriate 3 storey town-houses which are much more in-keeping.
It is down to planners to make sure there is better design and scale especially fronting onto main roads into the city and local high streets.

By Anonymous

I’m all for home ownership but have we given up on social housing as a viable option? There’s got to be something in between the PRS and home ownership surely?

By Mark Gilbertson