Go-ahead for house build­ing on for­mer fac­tory site

Southport Visiter - - Front Page -

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

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