Plans for huge devel­op­ment of 1,685 homes

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page -

DE­VEL­OP­ERS have re­vealed their plans to build more than 1,600 homes on for­mer Green Belt land east of Maghull.

For­mal plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tions have now been lodged with Sefton Coun­cil by three prop­erty firms.

Countryside Prop­er­ties and Per­sim­mon Homes are propos­ing 830 homes on land on the south of a site off Poverty Lane.

East Maghull Con­sor­tium has sub­mit­ted plans for up to 855 homes to the north of School Lane.

The huge “new com­mu­nity” of 1,685 prop­er­ties would be built on a stretch of largely arable farm­land as­so­ci­ated with Bridge Farm and The Po­plars be­tween res­i­den­tial Maghull and the M58. The site is about a mile from Maghull town cen­tre and 7½ miles north of Liver­pool city cen­tre.

The coun­cil agreed to re­move the land from the Green Belt to al­low it to be used for homes and a busi­ness park in April this year.

It would rep­re­sent the big­gest scheme un­der Sefton Coun­cil’s plan to solve the sig­nif­i­cant hous­ing short­age in the bor­ough, as it aims to have more than 11,000 homes built un­der its 20-year Lo­cal Plan.

Build­ing work has al­ready be­gun on a new Maghull North Rail­way Sta­tion to pro­vide pub­lic trans­port for the new res­i­dents. A plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion for two west-fac­ing slip roads to Junction 1 of the M58 at the junction of Maghull Lane and School Lane will be heard by Sefton Coun­cil’s plan­ning com­mit­tee next Wednesday (Oc­to­ber 18).

The plans for 855 new builds in­clude an older per­sons hous­ing scheme, a mixed-use lo­cal cen­tre in­clud­ing a su­per­mar­ket and pub­lic open space, on land to the south of School Lane and north of Whinny Brook.

The sec­ond area en­vis­ages 830 new homes after the de­mo­li­tion of ex­ist­ing build­ings, new ac­cesses for traf­fic off Poverty Lane, pub­lic open space, and an older per­sons hous­ing scheme, on land bounded by Poverty Lane to the south, Whinny Brook to the north and the M58 mo­tor­way to the east.

The devel­op­ment in Maghull has al­ready proved con­tro­ver­sial, though, with cam­paign­ers ob­ject­ing to such a large scheme be­ing built on lo­cal farm­land – while coun­cil leader Ian Ma­her re­cently branded builders “ar­ro­gant” for the way they had gone about bringing the plans to fruition.

Speak­ing in Au­gust, he said: “I am re­ally dis­ap­pointed in the ap­proach the de­vel­op­ers have taken.

“Sadly, there has been no mean­ing­ful di­a­logue with com­mu­ni­ties or coun­cil­lors be­fore these plans were sub­mit­ted, which smacks to me of ar­ro­gance and a de­sire to ride roughshod over the views of lo­cal peo­ple.

“They have also failed to recog­nise that these de­vel­op­ments must be of good qual­ity and de­sign, pre­fer­ring a rushed ap­pli­ca­tion which has no co­her­ent master­plan and scant doc­u­men­ta­tion to jus­tify their ap­proach.”

The firms in­volved point to ex­ten­sive lo­cal con­sul­ta­tion and say sev­eral meet­ings have been held with of­fi­cers from Sefton Coun­cil to dis­cuss the draft pro­pos­als, with com­ments pro­vided by the of­fi­cers taken into ac­count dur­ing the de­sign process.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Countryside Prop­er­ties and Per­sim­mon Homes met “stake­hold­ers” in March, in­clud­ing Sefton Cen­tral MP Bill Ester­son, Cllr Robert Owens, Cllr Matt Gan­non, and mem­bers of Maghull Town Coun­cil. Pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion events were also held by Countryside Prop­er­ties and Per­sim­mon Homes at Sum­mer­hill Pri­mary School on Poverty Lane.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Countryside Prop­er­ties, Per­sim­mon Homes and White Peak Plan­ning an­swered ques­tions from the pub­lic at the events.

In to­tal, 189 visitors at­tended and 80 feed­back forms were re­ceived.

Writ­ing on the on­line Maghull Com­mu­nity Page, for­mer Sefton Coun­cil leader Tony Robert­son was du­bi­ous about the plans.

He said: “The fact that this ur­ban ex­ten­sion will be built on some of the high­est grade of agri­cul­tural land in Eng­land says it all. For good­ness’ sake, it grows the food we eat! En­vi­ron­men­tal mad­ness.”

In ad­di­tion to the new homes, the plans will also pro­vide:

A 20ha (49½ acre) high qual­ity mod­ern busi­ness park to in­clude of­fice and light in­dus­trial, gen­eral in­dus­trial and stor­age and dis­tri­bu­tion uses, cre­at­ing dozens of jobs.

A 1.4ha (3½ acre) lo­cal cen­tre to in­clude a small su­per­mar­ket, shops, restau­rants and cafes, hot food take­aways, and com­mer­cial devel­op­ment and com­mu­nity uses. The lo­cal cen­tre will be lo­cated at the main en­trance to the site fronting School Lane.

Ap­prox­i­mately 18.5ha (46 acre) of green in­fra­struc­ture in­clud­ing a new lin­ear ‘main park’ along­side Whinny Brook, pub­lic open space, an equipped play area and a multi-use games area.

A new main road and bus route run­ning through the cen­tre of the site from Poverty Lane at the south to School Lane at the north.

De­vel­op­ers say they want to cre­ate “a broad mix of hous­ing types and tenures to cater for a range of lo­cal needs, while main­tain­ing the char­ac­ter of the lo­cal area”.

The ma­jor­ity of the homes would be be­tween two and two and a half storeys in height with taller, up to three storey, houses along the dis­trib­u­tor road.

Sefton Coun­cil’s Lo­cal Plan re­quires up to 30% of bed spa­ces in the scheme to be from af­ford­able hous­ing.

The ex­act pro­por­tion has not yet been con­firmed by de­vel­op­ers, who say: “The ex­act mix of dwellings type and ten­ure mix will be de­ter­mined through vi­a­bil­ity test­ing and on­go­ing dis­cus­sions with Sefton Coun­cil at re­served mat­ters stage.”

The de­vel­op­ers said: “The vi­sion for the site is to pro­vide a sus­tain­able devel­op­ment that re­spects the site’s ex­ist­ing fea­tures, re­tain­ing and en­hanc­ing them where pos­si­ble re­sult­ing in an in­clu­sive and in­te­grated res­i­den­tial led scheme for the land east of Maghull.

“The site will pro­vide a num­ber of key fa­cil­i­ties that will serve both the new and ex­ist­ing com­mu­nity.

“The new lo­cal cen­tre, lo­cated at the north of the site, will be a fo­cal point at the en­trance to the site.

“Close to the new Maghull North Sta­tion, it will op­er­ate along­side the ex­ist­ing lo­cal cen­tres on Deyes Lane and Sta­tion Road.”

De­vel­op­ers have re­vealed plans to build more than 1,600 homes on land east of Maghull

The area ear­marked for the devel­op­ment

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