Wirral writes cheque to unlock 1,600-home Birkenhead scheme
Ion Developments’ regeneration of 32 acres of brownfield land off Hind Street has taken a step forward thanks to the council’s decision to borrow £2.25m to pay for site investigations.
The capital spend will pay for contractor engagement, required in order to give the funders and the council certainty over the construction costs for the infrastructure for the site.
The funds are “crucial for the council to reach a point by which it can enter a grant funding agreement with Homes England and Liverpool City Region Combined Authority”, a report to Wirral Council’s economy and regeneration committee states.
Wirral Council is seeking grant funding totalling £41m for the first phase of more than 600 homes. Of this, £25m will come from Homes England and £16m will come from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.
In addition, the council expects private sector investment of £214m in the Hind Street scheme, according to Cathy Palmer, the authority’s head of regeneration delivery, who spoke at yesterday’s meeting.
In May, Ion and Wirral Council launched a public consultation on the 1,600-home project, having signed an agreement for the delivery of the scheme last year.
A planning application for the scheme is expected this summer.
The former industrial site, part of which is owned by Ion and part by the council, is identified in the Wirral Local Plan as the Hind Street Urban Garden Village Masterplan Area.
Under the proposals, the Queensway Tunnel flyovers would be removed and the Borough Road re-engineered in a bid to create an improved gateway to Birkenhead town centre.
Hind Street, designed by BDP, would also include a primary school, offices, shops, cafes and restaurants, healthcare facilities, hotels, and a multi-storey car park and mobility hub.
An area of green space billed as Birkenhead’s High Line and known as Dock Branch South also forms part of the proposals.