Wirral Growth Company: Birkenhead Phase 1 Final Site Development Plan
Decision Maker: Economy Regeneration & Housing Committee
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Report seeks Members approval to Wirral Growth
Company Phase 1 plan for Birkenhead Town Centre
Councillor Tony Jones, having declared a pecuniary interest in this item, left the meeting.
Councillor Andrew Hodson, as Vice-Chair, took the position of Chair.
Chief Regeneration Officer Sally Shah introduced this item which sought Member endorsement to the formal Site Development Plan (SDP) for Phase 1 of Birkenhead Town Centre. The plan had been developed by the Wirral Growth Company (WGC) as part of the Partnership Agreement that the Council and MUSE Developments entered into on 19th March 2019. The draft indicative SDP was contained in the Partnership Business Plan and approved by Cabinet on 24th February 2020. WGC obtained planning permission for Phase 1 of the scheme, a funder had been identified and the proposed SDP was approved by the Wirral Growth Company Board at its meeting on 1st July 2021.
The Phase 1 development consisted of two office buildings in Birkenhead and an associated electricity substation. The larger building would be occupied by Wirral Council and the second would be let on the open market. Both buildings would be built to high environmental standards.
Members discussed the risks, including whether there was demand for lettings, and were reassured that the lettings market was monitored regularly and there was a strong likelihood of pre-lets for the second building. The lack of existing transport infrastructure was also questioned, but it was explained that this development would kick start investment in other projects including infrastructure in the phased development and that funding had been secured through Future High Streets Fund for transport improvements.
Resolved – that Policy and Resources Committee approves the Formal Site Development Plan for Birkenhead Commercial District Phase 1.
Report author: Ray Squire
Publication date: 27/07/2021
Date of decision: 26/07/2021
Decided at meeting: 26/07/2021 - Economy Regeneration & Housing Committee
Effective from: 31/07/2021