Logistics developer Tritax Symmetry, part of Tritax Big Box Reit, has entered into an agreement with the Land Trust to bring forward an employment site and country park at the former Cronton Colliery east of Junction 6 of the M62.
Under the agreement, the Land Trust, a Warrington-based charity which manages open public spaces, will transfer an area of its land outside Knowsley to Tritax Symmetry, which would form part of its already in-planning Symmetry Park employment site.
Symmetry Park would comprise a 1m sq ft industrial complex next to 65 acres of green space.
Meanwhile, the country park would offer open space and community facilities connected by a 5km network of paths derived from the coal seams below the site.
Eight acres of wetland habitat, plus 11 acres of woodland, feature in the plans for the country park.
A sustainable transport route, following the abandoned mineral railway line, is proposed, connecting the towns and villages to the north and south of the M62.
The plans form part of Knowsley Council’s Halsnead Garden Village vision, which has scope for 1,600 homes, 55.5 acres of employment land and 81 acres of green space across 430 acres.
Masterplans are due to be submitted this summer following a period of public consultation.
The project team includes real estate advisor Gerald Eve as planning consultant and logistics architect UMC Architects. Michael Lee Architects has designed the country park.
The scheme is expected to create up to 830 jobs during the construction phase and generate around £46m of gross added value within a year after completion, according to Tritax Symmetry.
Matt Claxton, planning director at Tritax Symmetry, said: “The employment development will attract multimillion-pound investment in the logistics sector.”
Euan Hall, chief executive of the Land Trust, added: “The agreement we have made with Tritax Symmetry offers a rare opportunity to bring both jobs and green spaces to our local communities.
“This partnership will help us to unlock funding and be a superb resource which will be of huge value to the local community and the local wildlife.”