WIRRAL: Plans for Liscard
Credit Wirral Council
Fear that major plans for Liscard will be undermined by even bigger proposals for Birkenhead was expressed tonight.
Last week, the LDRS revealed that a brand new food store, public spaces and apartments could transform the way Liscard looks.
The Wirral Council ‘masterplan’ for the town includes the “part redevelopment” of the Cherry Tree Centre and its car park to create space for a new food store, alongside other premises yet to be finalised, with residential space above.
Major housing plans are also part of the project, with the council keen to bring empty buildings back into use.
There are also plans which could improve the town’s appearance, including a redesigning of Liscard Way, which was last updated in the 1990s and is looking “very tired” according to the masterplan.
But at tonight’s meeting of Wirral Council’s Economy, Regeneration and Development Committee, a Conservative councillor suggested the plans could fail due to competition from Birkenhead, the biggest town centre in Wirral.
Cllr David Burgess-Joyce, who represents Greasby, Frankby and Irby, said he would hate to think Liscard would become a “poor relation” of Birkenhead and worried about a potential fire sale of parts of the town if the council’s vision for it did not succeed.
He asked if it was possible that the council could look at the two towns as different offerings rather than places that were competing with each other.
Sally Shah, Wirral Council’s chief regeneration officer, said it was really important that the council did not bring forward “piecemeal” developments and understood how to make the two areas work together.
Ms Shah added that Liscard does have a distinctive character and that the council knows there are different things about the town compared to Birkenhead which will make it attractive to businesses in the future.
Cllr Tony Smith, a Labour councillor, said that he lived in Liscard for around four years during the 1970s and that the town was thriving at that time.
He added that businesses there really do want to make something out of Liscard and that there is a great possibility there.
Given this, Cllr Smith urged Wirral Council to move as fast as possible with its plans for the town.
Words: George Morgan, Local Democracy
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