Peel’s £90m Wirral Waters housing set for August 2019 start

Peel Land & Property and Legacy, a company founded by footballers Rio Ferdinand, Mark Noble, and Bobby Zamora, are aiming to start work next summer on 500 homes at Wirral Waters’ East Float as planning applications and projects continue to come forward at the regeneration site.

Designed by Birmingham-based practice Glenn Howells Architects, the project forms the western part of Wirral Water’s Northbank, on the East Float former dock, and will see 500 one and two-bedroom apartments with associated parking and landscaping built as part of the first phases of work on the site. Legacy’s element of the site also includes 100 affordable homes.

Founded in 2016 by Noble, Ferdinand, and Zamora, the project is Legacy’s first in the North West and the first to come to fruition after a 1,300-home scheme in Bedfordshire was hit by a delay earlier this year.

The project is funded by Aviva and also counts Wirral Council as a partner; the council agreed a business case for the project at a cabinet meeting on 1 October. A planning application for the project was lodged in May this year and is due to be discussed by Wirral’s planning committee at a meeting this month.

Subject to planning consent, site remediation is due to begin in November this year with a construction tender to be issued in March 2019, and construction starting on site in August that year.

Under the agreement with Wirral Council, Peel will be responsible for the management of the homes for the first 10 years; for the following 40 years, the commercial risks will be transferred to the council and the council will also be responsible for letting and managing the apartments.

The design team includes Parkinson Inc, the masterplanner for Wirral Waters, along with Glenn Howells Architects, Re-form Landscape Architects and Vectos Transport Consultants with Turley as planner.

Cllr Angela Davies, cabinet member for jobs and growth at Wirral Council said: “Creating new homes on brownfield sites has never been more important. Huge Government house-building targets mean we have to take every opportunity to encourage, enable and drive landowners to develop brownfield sites and build the homes Wirral residents need.

“We have been clear with every developer and landowner in this borough who has planning permissions in place: we will support you every step of the way, but we need you to build the homes you promised.

“The Wirral Waters One proposal demonstrates just how serious we are in our determination to get brownfield sites developed.

“This is an ambitious and entrepreneurial move by Wirral Council. We know we need housing to be developed on brownfield sites and at Wirral Waters in particular, to relieve some pressure from our green belt.”

The council’s backing of the residential element of Wirral Waters follows planning applications for offices and £20m Maritime knowledge hub. At the same time as putting in plans for the residential at East Float, planner Turley also submitted proposals for 400,000 sq ft of offices.

The 30-year regeneration project aims to rejuvenate the inner Wirral and create up to 20,000 new jobs and 14,000 new homes.

Richard Mawdsley, director of development at Peel Land and Property, said: “The first residential quarter at Wirral Waters is becoming a reality. Wirral Waters One will incorporate state of the art residential design and innovation which will lead the way in making Wirral Waters an incredible place to live.”

Colliers International advised The Legacy Sports and Education Foundation and Peel Land and Property on the financial structure to support the viability of this transaction.

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