WIRRAL WATERS: Housing project is gathering pace
Work on the biggest housing project in Wirral is gathering pace and promises to change the borough forever.
A Peel L&P document updating local and regional government on the progress of the project shows the huge forward steps being taken.
After being hit with delays earlier on its development, plans are now much closer to being delivered.
Peel L&P is appointing a contractor for the first 500 homes at Wirral Waters, with building expected to begin on the Northbank site this spring.
The ‘Legacy Project’ will consist of 500 one and two-bedroom apartments, 100 of which will be affordable.
The development, which is one of many to be delivered at Northbank, will include dock edge walkways, gardens and terraces for residents, as well as better pedestrian and cycling links.
By 2024/25, Peel L&P said it is on track to deliver over 1,100 new, high quality and innovative homes.
Work on Hythe, a sustainable Grade A flexible workspace on Tower Road South has begun.
Hythe, which is named after the old English for ‘a landing place or small harbour for ships or boats’, is the first speculative office development in Birkenhead for a decade, offering over 25,000 square feet of high-quality office space for local businesses.
It is expected to be finished towards the end of this year.
Transport is a key part of Wirral Waters. Peel L&P wants the development to be walkable as far as possible and the scheme is designed with cycling and walking in mind.
Several key projects designed to achieve this aim are in the works, with some completed already.
The Northbank East Streetscape project
This includes a walking and cycling route that marks the northern boundary of the Northbank East neighbourhood along Dock Road.
This has now been completed. It marked the construction of 400 metres of shared cycleway and footpath next to Dock Road between East Float Apartments and Tower Road.
Peel said the £3.2m Tower Road Streetscape Project has created a safer, more sustainable and accessible new street which prioritises cyclists and pedestrians and provides high quality street trees.
It is a setting the company hopes will attract new workers, students and visitors to the Four Bridges low-carbon neighbourhood.
The work was completed in February.
Northbank East and West public realm works
Part funded by Homes England’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF), this scheme will see an ‘upper boardwalk’ pedestrian and cycleway link built along the northern dock edge of East Float, creating a waterside thoroughfare and providing the public with access to the dock edge for the first time in over a century.
Two contemporary squares are also planned, connecting the Dock Road pedestrian and cycleway public realm works to the dock edge.
This project will provide a footway and cycleway along the north side of Beaufort Road and the east side of Wallasey Bridge Road.
Peel L&P submitted a planning application for this scheme in October 2020. Workers are expected to be on site this year.
Northbank West Streetscape Project
Work has begun on the £650k project, which includes street trees, new street lighting columns, digital infrastructure and landscaping.
As well as transport, tree planting is an important part of Wirral Waters.
This is key to making high-density housing work while creating a pleasant neighbourhood for people to live in.
The Urban Tree Challenge Fund has seen over 1,500 new trees planted across the site and the approaches into Wirral Waters.
Funding has recently been secured for the planting of a further 360 trees.
Cllr Janette Williamson, leader of Wirral Council, said: “At the heart of our regeneration agenda is the local community.
“We have a unique opportunity to create a beautiful, sustainable, waterfront town which people are proud to call home.
“A town on the left bank of the Mersey with a thriving, inclusive economy which benefits all of its residents.
“It will be a town which is attractive to families and a great place for children to grow up in.”
The Labour councillor was particularly proud to see the progress given her upbringing.
Cllr Williamson added: “It’s thrilling to see Birkenhead’s renaissance taking shape, not only for me as Labour leader but as someone who was born and raised here.
“The project shows Labour’s complete commitment to delivering on our pledges to the communities we serve. We are proposing an extensive programme of investment and growth which will stretch over 20 years.
“This investment will build on our proud pioneering and maritime heritage and enviable waterfront geography.”
Words: George Morgan, Local Democracy Reporter
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