NATURAL LAND: Plans to build 178 homes on Huyton woodland
178 new homes could be built on an area of designated urban greenspace in Huyton, Image Google Earth
Plans to build 178 homes over a piece of woodland in a Merseyside town could be approved despite objections from local residents about the loss of “the only piece of natural land in the area.”
The proposals include building 118 three bed homes, 36 two bedrooms and 24 four bedroom houses as “market housing” on an area of land at Hillside Avenue in Huyton.
Parts of the land are designated urban greenspace, with wooded areas containing almost 120 trees at the centre of the site.
The land which, according to the planning application, is owned in part by Knowsley Council, Knowsley Housing Trust and North Huyton Communities Future, was previously in use for residential purposes.
Housing estates sit to the north and south of the land, recently built by or in partnership with Gleeson Homes, who have submitted the planning application.
A previous planning application submitted by Gleeson homes for the plot was refused in 2019 on a number of grounds relating to the design and layout of the properties and because an adequate bat survey had not been carried out to ascertain loss of habitat.
Gleeson resubmitted a fresh application in 2020, with amendments to the design and layout, which is now being recommended to be approved by officers at a Knowsley Council planning committee meeting due to take place next Thursday, November 11.
The reports states that nine objections were received, including people stating they feared a loss of wooded area that is “one of the few green areas in Hillside”.
Another objection noted this was “the only piece of natural land in the area since build works commenced on Woolfall Park” and would leave locals with nowhere to walk, with one person suggesting the site should be turned into a community park.
Fears over loss of wildlife and plants were also among the objections, with others stating there were fears that there could be insufficient infrastructure in terms of dentists, doctors and schools to cope with the additional properties.
There were four submission in favour of the development, citing problems with fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour on the site.
Planning officers said that while the development would include the loss of some designated urban greenspace in the area and nearly 120 trees, this could be mitigated by developer contributions, known as Section 106 fees, of nearly £340,000 for improvements to existing public open spaces, tree planting and maintenance and the creation of semi natural grassland habitat.
The report states: “It is considered that in this instance, the benefits of this proposal would outweigh the loss of greenspace as the site’s development is essential to the continued regeneration of North Huyton.
“This is a key development site in the Hillside area where existing homes where demolished several years ago and all of the adjacent development sites have been completed for some time leaving this site vacant to the detriment of the surrounding area.”
Councils from Knowsley Council planning committee will meet to discuss the plans at the municipal buildings in Huyton next Thursday.
Words: Lisa Rand, Local Democracy Reporter
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