Wirral Waters phase one plans passed

Wirral Council has approved Peel's £200m Northbank East proposal paving the way for a mixed-use first phase of the vast Wirral Waters development.

Northbank East connects the converted grain warehouses on Dock Road to the hydraulic tower on Tower Road.

Two planning applications to redevelop surplus dockland at the Northbank East site, within the East Float of Birkenhead Docks, went before Wirral Council's planning committee last night and received a unanimous positive vote.

The first, a detailed planning application, comprises a 20-storey tower which rises from the northeast corner of the development. This scheme will include 141 homes to attract a wide range of people including families, older and younger people. The homes will be a mix of sizes from one to four bedrooms, including a number of larger two-storey homes and live-work units, as well as a small supermarket to serve residents, a private communal rooftop garden and shared amenity space.

Access to the dock edge will be opened up through new public realm and landscaping improving access to the waters edge.

The second application may need to be also considered by Government Office North West owing to the amount of office and retail space being proposed. The Secretary of State will decide whether the application needs to be "called-in" for determination by central Government. This application would see the development of four towers, reaching up to 40 storeys providing 1,531 new homes, commercial office space and retail and leisure facilities as well as an area of waterside public realm.

The planning committee meeting was adjourned from last week after an objection from Warner Estate Holdings which owns shopping centres in Birkenhead town centre.

The Northbank East proposals are part of Peel's wider masterplan for the East Float area, a major component of the Wirral Waters scheme, which will see one of the largest planning applications in the UK submitted later this year, comparable only, Peel claims, with nationally important projects such as Greenwich Peninsula and the Olympics and its Legacy.

Lindsey Ashworth, development director of Peel, said: "Northbank East and East Float will form the basis for the long term housing and economic growth of the area and create nearly 30,000 new jobs and attract a similar number of residents, through a genuinely mixed-use approach. This will all be set in a sustainable environment that will use its critical mass as well as Peel's capabilities in energy, waste and water to be one of the most exciting and important regeneration project in the UK.

"These two planning permissions are the start of what will be the long awaited regeneration of underused docks but in a spectacular way."

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