BIRKENHEAD PLANS: 1,000 new houses forms part of the vision
A plan for up to 1,000 new homes is one part of an agenda which could transform Birkenhead.
Wirral Council’s Birkenhead 2040 Framework proposes the most radical change to the town since the 1947 Town Plan according to the local authority.
One important part of the council’s plans for the town is the vacant site around Hind Street, which could be turned into a low-carbon ‘urban garden village’ of up to 1,000 new homes.
Funding has already been secured to remove the two flyovers to the Queensway Tunnel, which will open up a pedestrian-friendly connection between the town centre and the Hind Street community as it develops.
As well as homes, the council said green spaces are at the heart of its plans.
This includes the creation of a new park along the route of the disused Dock Branch railway, one of the first rail lines in the country.
Other exciting proposals include a new mass transit system which would link key developments into the Merseyrail network and a new District Heating Network. This venture would provide low-cost heating to new developments across Birkenhead.
As the plan gathers momentum, Wirral Council believes that manufacturing, maritime, digital and creative sectors will all benefit from the wealth generated and the improved transport connections.
Some of the work is already underway, such as the demolition of Milton Pavements and the temporary moving of Birkenhead Market which will allow a new modern home for it to be built.
Work at Wirral Waters, a scheme which is set to deliver 13,500 homes over the next 25 years and potentially create up to 20,000 jobs, is also progressing.
Homes are beginning to be delivered at some of the project’s developments. For instance around 350 ‘urban cottages’ at East Float are on the way in a project by Urban Splash and Peel L&P.
The first of these homes will launch for sale this spring.
Wirral Council’s consultation on the Birkenhead 2040 Framework begins tomorrow and runs for eight weeks.
You can have your say on the document here (https://haveyoursay.wirral.gov.uk).
Cllr Anita Leech, chair of the economy and development committee, said: “In drawing up this vision we started by asking people what they would like to see that would really bring new life to Birkenhead, and we have listened to what they have told us.
“We know that we need to move forward quickly and work has already started in the town centre and at Wirral Waters.
“We are keen to hear your views so that we can continue to move ahead with the regeneration proposals. We would like you to look at these proposals and tell us what you think.
“Do you have ideas you would like to contribute or examples of good practice from other areas you would like us to look at? Please take this opportunity to let us know.”
The Labour councillor explained how the authority would engage with residents both in the eight-week period and afterwards.
She added: “This will be an eight-week initial consultation and due to the pandemic will be almost entirely online. We will use the Birkenhead 2040 Framework to support the development of Wirral’s Local Plan.
“This will focus on redeveloping brownfield sites on the east of the borough to meet our housing needs.
“But this consultation will not be the end of the discussion – we will be continuing to ask people to tell us their views, and hopefully when Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, or sufficiently lessened, we will be able to hold face-to-face events too.
“Listening to what people want will be at the heart of this to make sure we deliver a town people want to live and work in and can be proud of.”
Words: George Morgan, Local Democracy Reporter
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