Peel has said there is “still work to do” before construction work can begin on the first housing development at Wirral Waters which was given consent at the council’s planning committee last week.
The scheme at Wirral Waters One features 500 one and two-bed apartments, dock-edge walkways, gardens, and terraces, along with pedestrian and cycleway connections. Designed by Glenn Howells Architects, the project also features 100 affordable homes.
Wirral Council’s planning committee gave the green light to a reserved matters application for the project at a meeting last Thursday, potentially allowing construction work to begin. Aviva is already on board to provide funding.
Peel, which is bringing forward the project alongside the council and fellow developer Legacy, previously set an August 2019 start date for the £90m scheme.
However, following approval, a spokesperson for Peel Land & Property said there was still “work to do to satisfy the many conditions of the transaction and the procurement regulations that have been imposed before the start of work on site”.
It is understood some of the issues relate to how the project will be tendered for construction, and Peel’s obligations under the delivery and maintenance structure for the scheme.
“This is a really important step in the planning process and means that we are another step closer to making these 500 new homes a reality,” said the spokesperson.
“We are very eager to get on site now, however, we still have several legal obstacles and conditions to overcome. We are working hard to satisfy these conditions so that we can move this project forward and get the build underway.
“This will be the first residential development at Wirral Waters and, with a very high standard of design quality and sustainability, it will make Wirral Waters an incredible place to live and will be a benchmark for future residential developments.”
Under Peel’s timeline outlined in October, a construction tender to be issued in March 2019, with construction starting on site in August that year.
Under the agreement with Wirral Council, Peel will be responsible for the management of the homes for the first 10 years; for the following 40 years, the commercial risks will be transferred to the council and the council will also be responsible for letting and managing the apartments.
The professional team on the project also includes Re-Form Landscape Architects; planner Turley; masterplanner Parkinson; and transport consultant Vectos.
Wirral Council leader, Cllr Phil Davies, added: “The approval of this planning application represents a major breakthrough for Wirral Waters and will play a significant part in helping us to deliver new housing.
“We are seeing huge confidence in Wirral as an area to invest in at the moment. Our plans for regeneration throughout the borough are gaining momentum and I believe this will help kick-start further development on one of Wirral’s key regeneration sites.
“These types of schemes are always difficult for private developers to make viable, but Wirral Council has continued to show its commitment to this development – demonstrated by how we have stepped in and made it work, securing national funding to improve local infrastructure and devising a commercial approach to bring the scheme to fruition.”
The last 12 months have seen planning applications for offices and £20m Maritime knowledge hub at Wirral Waters. At the same time as putting in plans for the residential at East Float, planner Turley also submitted proposals for 400,000 sq ft of offices.
The 30-year regeneration project aims to rejuvenate the inner Wirral and create up to 20,000 new jobs and 14,000 new homes.