Go-ahead for house building on former factory site
MORE than 150 homes will be built on a historic factory site in Southport, despite no affordable housing being included in the plans.
The site in Balmoral Drive and Rufford Road, Crossens, has been home to a number of factories, including the TV makers Phillips - famous for the building’s clock tower - and other firms including Brockhouse Engineering and Mullard Ltd, which made electrical components.
The Vulcan Motor and Engineering company was also based there, and munitions were made there during WWI and WWII.
Since the factory’s closure, the buildings have been put to a multitude of uses and are now largely demolished, though some firms still operate from the site.
Last night (Wednesday) Sefton Council granted permission for up to 157 homes to be built on the site, although a further application will be needed for the final details on the size, design and layouts of the properties.
The site was identified for housing in the Sefton Local Plan, raising hopes that not only could an eyesore be brought to better use, but also that it would help those looking to buy their first home.
But the site qualifies for “vacant building credit” under government guidelines, a system which was introduced to encourage development on brownfield sites and means there is no requirement to include affordable housing.
An independent report had stated that when demolition costs were factored in, it would only have been viable to include 6% affordable homes, still well below the level usually required with large developments.
The proposal was initially submitted for 176 homes, but reduced to “approximately 147” and the committee set a maximum of 157 when approving the application.
As part of the development, Catalyst is expected to pay more than £300,000 towards funding for primary schools in the area.
Businesses including DPI Designs will need to find new accommodation.
In his report to the committee, Sefton Council’s planning chief, Stuart Barnes, said: “This proposal will result in the loss of a number of non-designated heritage assets but this was fully considered during the production of the local plan and the designation from a primarily industrial area to housing allocation.
“The council considered that the public benefits of providing housing in an accessible location outweighed the less than substantial harm arising from the loss of long standing buildings.”
WHAT do you think? Did you work at any of the factories on this site and what are your memories of working here? Please email us your comments, memories and pictures to: visiternews@southport visiter.co.uk
The former Phillips site will become homes