Torus Rock Ferry 1
The Rock Ferry High School site will be developed by Torus and Anwyl Homes

Wirral continues brownfield focus with latest consent

Dan Whelan

Wirral Council has approved a £30m residential scheme in Rock Ferry, and has issued a call for brownfield sites to be brought forward as part of the Local Plan “to help protect Wirral’s green belt”.

As part of the creation of Wirral’s Local Plan which will guide development to 2035, the council has said it is aiming for zero green belt release, and is instead targeting an increase in housing and employment in areas such as Birkenhead and Wallasey.

A consultation is under way until 23 March which seeks the public’s views of the council’s proposed options for land use, which also includes development at Wirral Waters.

Meanwhile in Rock Ferry, which sits within Birkenhead, housing provider Torus has been granted approval for 186 homes on 20 acres of land formerly occupied by Rock Ferry High School.

The development is made up of 102 extra care apartments, including eight within the grade two-listed Ravenswood Hall, plus 76 houses which will be available through shared ownership or affordable rent.

The Pozzoni-designed project will see Torus team up with Anwyl Partnerships to deliver the units.

The planner for the development is Mosaic Town Planning.

Torus Rock Ferry 2

Chris Bowen, managing director of Torus Developments, said: “As an organisation, we passionately believe in the power of place and creating homes people can enjoy for many years.

“We are delighted to be able to invest £30 million into Rock Ferry. This level of investment is transformative for neighbourhoods as well as giving a strong boost to the Wirral economy.”

Leon Armstrong, director of Mosaic Town Planning, said: “This will be a vital regeneration scheme for Rock Ferry, providing care and affordable provision to those in need.

“As the Council now claims that its needs can be met without the loss of Green Belt in the emerging plan, it is imperative that support is given to the redevelopment of brownfield sites, even where these prove to be contentious.”

Elsewhere in the borough, Bellway Homes’ proposed 257-home development in Moreton, on the site of the former Burtons Biscuits factory, was deferred so that further information can be provided to Natural England.

The scheme had been recommended for approval prior to the planning committee meeting.

SATPLAN, APD and Pozzoni advised on the hybrid application.

Your Comments

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What about the Crossways estate in we’ve just had 50 houses recently demolished what’s gonna be installed for the rest of us.
We’ve just had our gilbrys demolished and put upstairs in one of our bedrooms.

By Allan William Robinson

Would be better if planer also develop different area as well because many retirement wanted smaller home but still wanted to be living in the same area but not many options for them.

By Ryan

All these new homes what about a bigger Hospital

By Alison Marrin

This area is a special area of green space in a deprived area of the borough. Okay, knock down the ‘new’ breeze blocks, Highfield and Stoneleigh buildings but why couldn’t the main building be the equivalent of the Civic centre Bebington, or is Rock Ferry considered culturally and intellectually inferior? Courses could be run during the daytime and evenings. The Ravenswood building could provide a centre for artefacts appertaining to Wirral, and Rock Ferry in particular.
As for the grounds, some of the land could be converted into allotments for the local residents, other parts for football, rugby and cricket. A footpath through the woods could inspire children to enjoy nature, good for the body, good for the soul, and primary schools across Wirral could be encouraged to participate walking the nature trail; with its bird life, (including owls), and plant life and trees. We have an opportunity to transfer this area into something positive for the community. I know I sound like a NIMBY but such locations are rare and should put the local people before the interests of others, (I am writing from my home in Bebington).As for security, community police could patrol the area, a building to house a caretaker could deter criminal activity such as vandalism; the cost of investing in a scheme such as this would outweigh the cost of any anti-social behaviour in the future. Allowing young people to participate in a ‘safe area’, involving them with meaningful activities can only be beneficial for all the community in Rock Ferry.

By Frank Lowry