Country Park PR
The 65-acre park has been designed by Michael Lee Architects

Progress soon for Halsnead country park and 350 homes

Sarah Townsend

Knowsley Council is expected to give full planning consent for a 65-acre park and Taylor Wimpey residential scheme at Whiston, both part of wider plans for Halsnead Garden Village.

Halsnead is one of the North West’s four proposed Garden Villages named by the Government in 2017 when the programme launched, along with Handforth in Cheshire, Bailrigg near Lancaster and St Cuthberts in Cumbria.

The Halsnead masterplan, led by the local council, plots the development of 1,600 homes, 55 acres of employment land and 81 acres of green space across the 430-acre former Cronton Colliery east of Junction 6 of the M62.

Logistics developer Tritax Symmetry, in partnership with national charity the Land Trust, is bringing forward the employment site element – the 1m sq ft Symmetry Park industrial complex that won planning permission last month – and the 65-acre country park.

Meanwhile, housebuilders Taylor Wimpey, Stewart Milne Homes and a joint venture between Bloor Homes and Maro are advancing plans for the residential elements of the garden village.

At a planning committee meeting later this month, Knowsley is recommended to approve Taylor Wimpey’s plans for 350 homes off Fox’s Bank Lane – a scheme that was first lodged with the council in June 2020.

The scheme comprises a mix of three- and four-bedroom houses with a three-acre mature woodland in the middle of the site and involves the demolition of existing farm buildings. The development will result in a contribution of £2.3m to local services and infrastructure, Taylor Wimpey said last year.

Pegasus Group is the planning consultant for the scheme, which has been named Fox Wood Garden Village.

A Taylor Wimpey spokesperson said: “Halsnead Garden Village is a high-quality scheme, so it was important for us to take time to work with the council and stakeholders to ensure our development meets the design requirements for the site.”

The country park is also recommended for approval. Under the plans, the park would offer open space and community facilities connected by a 5km network of paths derived from coal seams below the Cronton site.

There would also be eight acres of wetland habitat, 11 acres of woodland, and a new transport route following the abandoned mineral railway line, to connect towns and villages to the north and south of the M62.

Under the agreement between Tritax and the Land Trust, the Warrington-based charity will manage the open space, in return for transferring an area of its land outside Knowsley to the developer to help bring forward the industrial scheme.

Halsnead Garden Village

The Halsnead Garden Village masterplan envisages a total of 1,600 homes

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Interested to know what the ground rent of these properties would be and how a service charge or rent would help to maintain the grounds.

By Mark