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ST HELENS COUNCIL: Tackling housing crisis

ST HELENS COUNCIL: Tackling housing crisis

St Helens Town Hall

Land in St Helens is among the sites that will be used to deliver nearly 3,000 new homes in the Liverpool City Region as part of the Metro Mayor’s plan to tackle the housing crisis.

Fourteen brownfield sites have been identified for almost 3,000 new homes in the region.

At its meeting on Friday, the Combined Authority will be asked to approve the use of the remaining £36 million from its £45 million brownfield land fund to support the building schemes.

Since the £45 million funding was announced in July 2020, the Combined Authority has already invested £11 million in seven projects across the Liverpool City Region, which will deliver 886 homes.

The latest round of funding is split between eight private sector-led projects, identified following an over-subscribed open call during the summer, expected to deliver around 1,400 homes, and six local authority-led projects, expected to deliver a further 1,200 homes.

A St Helens site is among the previously approved projects in the Liverpool City Region, with plans to build 258 homes at Moss Nook at a cost of £2 million given the green light.

Private sector and housing association schemes have also been identified through the open call process.

These include Moss Nook phase three’s proposals for 230 homes in St Helens at a total spend of £3.42 million, with Harworth as the sponsor.

It also comprises proposals for 167 homes at Thatto Heath at a cost of £2 million, with Vistry Partnerships Limited as the sponsor.

There are also a number of local authority projects, which include plans for 227 new homes as part of the St Helens town centre transformation at a cost of £3.4 million.

In planning terms, any land that has been previously developed is classed as brownfield.

In the Liverpool City Region, much of this land is derelict and formerly industrial so must be cleaned up before it can be redeveloped.

The Combined Authority investment will be used for site remediation and other measures required to make sites ready for development.

Speaking about the plans, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram said: “For too many people across our region, the chance to own a home of their own remains out of reach.

“To tackle the housing crisis and help more people realise their home ownership ambitions, we need to take serious action to get more homes built across our region.

“When I was elected, I promised to prioritise brownfield sites for house building and have been working hard to make that a reality.

“Last year we spent £11 million to help deliver almost 900 homes on brownfield sites. We are now looking at another £36 million that should take the total to almost 4,000 new homes for people across our region.”

In total, 700 brownfield sites have been identified across the six local authorities of the Liverpool City Region.

The updated brownfield register identifies 1,813 acres of brownfield sites which could provide space for more than 42,000 homes, if remediated.

Cllr Graham Morgan, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority portfolio holder for housing and spatial framework, said: “We have ambitious plans to ensure that we tackle the housing shortage and deliver a great choice of high-quality homes, right across the city region.

“Building on brownfield sites will be vital to that process – after all there are around 800 of them with enough space to build 42,000 homes.”

Words:  Aran Dhillon, Local Democracy Reporter


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