Leverhulme Vision plans Leverhulme p Mason Media

An example of what Leverhulme hopes to deliver through its Leverhulme Vision project. Credit: via Mason Media

Wirral to refuse last part of Leverhulme’s 1,000-home Green Belt vision 

Having already rejected eight applications for a combined 800 homes and 56-acre park, the council is due to block proposals for a further 240 properties next week. 

The Leverhulme Estate wants to redevelop 25 acres off Rigby Drive in Greasby but Wirral Council has recommended the project is refused due to concerns about harm to the Green Belt. 

Two petitions against the scheme have accrued more than 6,000 signatures between them. 

If the committee votes in line with officers’ recommendations, it will be the ninth Leverhulme application to be refused in recent months.  

Together, the nine applications make up the developer’s Leverhulme Vision, aimed at building homes on Green Belt to address the borough’s housing shortage. 

The previous eight already rejected are as follows: 

  • A two-acre site located to the north of Gills Lane in Pensby, between Thorncroft Drive and Gills Lane Farm and stables. To provide up to 15 new homes. 
  • An 18-acre site located to the north of Gills Lane in Pensby and to the west of Barnston Road. To provide up to 153 new homes. 
  • A 9.6-acre site located a short distance from the local centre of Pensby Road, Pensby. It sits to the north of Gills Lane, between the existing residential streets of Dale View Close, Gwendoline Close and Thorncroft Drive. To provide up to 92 new homes. 
  • A 43-acre site located to the north of Thingwall Drive, to the east of Glenwood Drive and to the west of Arrowe Park, Irby. To provide up to 290 new homes. 
  • An 8.8-acre site located to the north of Raby Hall Road between the Autism Together complex and the residential neighbourhood on Blakeley Road at the edge of Bromborough. To provide up to 80 new homes. 
  • An eight-acre site located to the north of Raby Hall Road, with built development proposed to the west of Raby Hall and a footpath link to the east. To provide up to 38 new homes. 
  • A 20-acre site located to the west of Barnston Road and north of Milner Road within easy walking distance of Heswall town centre and Heswall railway station. To provide up to 120 new homes. 
  • A 56-acre Sustainable Alternative Natural Greenspace to “mitigate recreational pressures” from the wider vision.

The developer has already said it plans to appeal the refusals. 

Leverhulme said its plans would deliver more than 300 affordable homes, which the developer claims are much needed in Wirral. 

“Leverhulme is uniquely placed to be able to deliver the new homes that Wirral urgently requires and to deliver them in the most sustainable way,” Leverhulme head of land and planning Nigel McGurk said in January. 

“In delivering these developments, Leverhulme would ensure multiple other benefits in ways that no other proposal in Wirral can including the opening up of the countryside, the creation of new cycleways and footpaths, and the enhancement of biodiversity and habitats.” 

He added: “Crucially, our developments would stimulate essential economic growth across the Wirral – providing urgently needed homes, creating jobs, and supporting services. They would serve to strengthen communities and promote wellbeing.” 

The application for the 240-home Greasby scheme, to be discussed next week, can be found by searching for reference number OUT/22/01821 on Wirral Council’s planning portal.

The other refused homes applications can be found using the following reference numbers:

  • OUT/22/00941
  • OUT/22/00942
  • OUT/22/00943
  • OUT/22/00944
  • OUT/22/00945
  • OUT/22/00946
  • OUT/22/00947

The reference number for the refused SANG application is APP/22/01502.

The Leverhulme Vision project team includes planner Strutt & Parker, masterplanner and architect Alan Baxter, transportation consultant Curtins, landscaping consultant Barnes Walker, and community consultation consultant BECG.

Your Comments

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Whilst the rest of the country’s population grows strongly, Wirral’s remains stagnant. Its population is ageing, too, placing a huge strain on local authority budgets. And here we are, once again, seeing the local authority deter the sort of investment that will bring young families to the borough. Not known as the Insular Peninsular for nothing.

By Sceptical

Love for the planning inspectorate to turn these around.

By Rich X

Hopefully Leverhulme will appeal these decisions and win some of them, funny how Wirral, along with Liverpool and Sefton, are really good at refusing schemes but not so good working with developers to create imaginative local neighbourhoods with houses and high-rise.
These are 3 Labour run councils, however Knowsley ,also Labout run, seems very proactive in working with developers, resulting in thousands of homes built or planned within the Borough.

By Anonymous

All for investment in the Wirral, although it shouldn’t / mustn’t be at the detriment of releasing greenbelt – once its gone, its gone.. no getting it back. The housing numbers are misleading also. Surrounding infrastructure wouldn’t cope and would all ultimately be to the detriment of the area. Invest the money in the areas that need it – leave the greenbelt alone. So many brownfield sites and existing houses that are screaming for investment.

By Anonymous

@Anonymous Not sure why you have included Sefton in that list, since according to their most recent SHLAA report there have been 3,353 net dwellings built from 2017/18 to 2021/22. That seems like a decent amount of housing, no?

By JohnMac

The government have a no building on the green belt policy,Wirral have a brown field first policy! Why do developers push back against these policies? Nothing to do with pandering to shareholders and making money is it?
These homes are not wanted in these areas but nobody from the developers listens. Thank heavens political representatives from all parties are united in opposition to these applications .

By Piermaster

@piermaster that’s an oversimplification of the current greenbelt policy. Wirral haven’t had an adopted plan for 23 years (albeit they have finally managed to progress a plan to submission for examination) and they dont have a five year housing land supply (again albeit with potential national changes to 5YHLS). If LPAs pulled thier fingers out and actually planned for the houses they should we would have a properly plan led system with less reliant on speculative application other than as a check for failing plans.

By Roger Bacon

The Ninbyism is appalling. A clear move to avoid being pushed out of office for down g the right thing – balancing up housing supply across the Borough like most other authorities. Not everyone can live in Birkenhead and reliving on Wirral Waters for numbers is a ridiculous strategy. West wirral continues to suffer from economic failure due to a lack of affordability for the younger generation to remain in their local areas. Spectacular selfishness buy the older generation and the I’m alright Jack brigade. Spectacular cowardice and self-interest from the political majority.

By Alastair Sheehan

Dear Government – please please please intervene and deal with this shambolic Council. West Wirral desperately needs to new homes. Selfish nimbyism off the scale. Endless letter writing from 4 bed mortgage free homes built on once green fields to object to exactly the same for their children. Oh the irony.

By Need a new home...

Totally 💯 Against As this would impact on so many people and to build here would ruin this village

By Mrs Baker

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