Halsnead Garden Village
The masterplan for Halsnead Garden Village accounts for up to 1,600 homes

Setback for part of Knowsley garden village 

Neil Tague

Stewart Milne Homes has withdrawn its application for 225 homes in Halsnead after it was recommended for refusal by the council, leaving a hybrid application from Bloor Homes and Maro for 123 homes at the same site the sole item in front of the planning committee tomorrow.

The plans by Stewart Milne for land off Lickers Lane were criticised by officers, who observed that the applicant had “failed to demonstrate any collaboration with the adjoining landowners to demonstrate a comprehensive approach to developing the site.

“As the site is a garden village, the design expectations are raised and are framed within the [masterplan].”

The report from officers added: “The layout and design of the development does not meet expectations in respect of the key junctions, density of development, levels of amenity for potential residents, relationships between buildings, location and form of greenspaces and lack of built form and character along the main east/west route.”

Halsnead Garden Village is roughly divided into four quadrants, three of them north of the M62 and one to the south, with the whole site set to deliver 1,600 homes in total.

Meanwhile, Bloor, working with Maro Developments, is seeking detailed consent for 123 homes and outline consent for a further 237 dwellings on the western part of the site.

Although the proposal has met with several objections over access and the loss of green belt, the site is one of the nine sites released from the Green Belt as part of the South of Whiton Sustainable Urban Extension area. Both elements of the application have been scaled down slightly from the initial proposal.

Approval is recommended subject to the signing of section 106 agreements within six months. However, there will still be issues to overcome, according to the planning officers’ report. While Bloor and the council have agreed a position on viability, including the possibility of affordable homes in the second phase, Maro has stated that it does not agree with that position.

Garden Villages were a policy put into motion by government in January 2017, with other North West projects including St Cuthbert’s in Cumbria, Bailrigg in Lancaster and Handforth in Cheshire, which last week saw a land deal lined up by the local authority.

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