MILTON PAVEMENTS BUSINESS CASE
Councillor Pat Hackett introduced a report which sought approval of a strategic acquisition of property by the Council (referred to in the report as “Milton Pavements”) in the heart of Birkenhead town centre. The report also sought approval to the incorporation of this site into the Wirral Growth Company Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) Option Agreement on appropriate terms at an appropriate time. The Cabinet was informed that acquiring and assembling this land would contribute significantly towards town centre regeneration aspirations.
Additionally, the report also sought approval for a key, Council owned, neighbouring site, Birkenhead Market building, to be transferred into the Wirral Growth Company Option Agreement on appropriate terms and subject to the approval of the LLP. The Cabinet was requested to give its approval for the site referred to as ‘Allport Lane – Bromborough’ to be removed from the Wirral Growth Company Option Agreement in line with the Board decision of the LLP.
The regeneration of the town centre was a long-standing priority for the Council and was reflected in The Wirral Plan: A 2020 Vision. This Plan had set out the vision for the borough and had economic growth at its heart to ensure residents would be able to access good, high paying jobs in a stable and thriving economy. The Plan had identified 20 key pledges that the Council, and its partner agencies, must deliver and the proposals in the report directly supported the following pledges:
· Increase inward investment;
· Greater job opportunities; and
· Thriving small businesses.
The matter affected all Wards within the Borough and was a key decision.
Appended to the report were:
Appendix 3 – Redline boundary for ‘Milton Pavements’.
Appendix 4 – Redline boundary for ‘Birkenhead Market’.
Appendix 5 – Redline boundary for ‘Allport Lane Car Park, Bromborough.
However, Appendix 1 – Acquisition Full Business Case and Appendix 2 – Acquisition Heads of Terms were exempt by virtue of Paragraph 3, part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 and were included at Agenda Item No. 9 on the agenda. (Minute No 55 refers.)
Councillor Hackett informed that given the well reported decline of the high street nationally and a challenging retail market, it was the responsibility of the Council, as long term stakeholder and investor, to take greater control of the area and ensure that future developments had a positive impact in terms of place making and broader regeneration.
The Council’s plans for economic growth were about creating community wealth. They were about creating opportunities for local people, regenerating commercial areas and inspiring ambition. Prosperous communities were happier, healthier and better places to live.
This report set out the Council’s initial plans for the much-needed regeneration of Birkenhead’s commercial town centre and beyond. It specifically focused on the Council’s vision and ambition to see Birkenhead, once again, become a thriving town with neighbourhoods of choice and a strong commercial heart, generating footfall and visitors alongside a revitalised retail and leisure provision with new streets and squares.
Councillor Hackett stated that the regeneration of the town centre was a long-standing priority for the Council and was the original backdrop to the formation of the Wirral Growth Company. He informed that it was important that the Council ensured the regeneration of the whole area. This was its long term ambition and it was an exciting time when a number of sites would be linked up around the area with the town centre, Woodside, Hamilton Square and Wirral Waters etc.
There was a big opportunity to work with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Homes England to draw up the master plan. Details, communications and publicity about this would be available in the next two or three weeks. This was a vital element to the whole regeneration of Birkenhead. It was long overdue and residents and businesses had been asking for this for a long time. There had been consultation with market traders, residents and businesses and the actual regeneration would be people led.
Councillor Anita Leech declared a personal interest by virtue of her being a Board Member of the Wirral Growth Company.
(1) approves the Full Business Case for the acquisition of the land and rights of Milton Pavement and unit 13-15 at St Werburgh’s Square thereby agreeing in principle for the Council to purchase these sites;
(2) thereby authorises the Director of Economic and Housing Growth, in consultation with the Director of Finance and Investment to finalise the purchase of the sites on the terms that are substantially in accordance with the draft Heads of Terms set out at Appendix 2, noting that the Heads of Terms contain a number of conditions that must be satisfactorily met before the purchase can be deemed unconditional;
(3) agrees that, once ‘Milton Pavements’ is acquired, this asset can be incorporated into the LLP Option Agreement on appropriate terms subject to approval of the LLP and the outcomes of consultation on regeneration plans;
(4) agrees that, once ‘Milton Pavements’ is acquired, this asset subject to planning permission and surveys can be demolished subject to the outcome of consultation on the regeneration plans;
(5) agrees that the Council owned Birkenhead Market site can be incorporated into the LLP Option Agreement on appropriate terms and subject to the outcome of consultation on the regeneration plans; and
(6) agrees that the site referred to as ‘Allport Lane – Bromborough’ be removed from the LLP Option Agreement.
- Regeneration and Growth Cabinet Report Nov 2019, item 50. PDF 121 KB
- Appendix 3 Milton Pavement, item 50. PDF 156 KB
- Appendix 4 Birkenhead Market_Site Plan, item 50. PDF 56 KB
- Appendix 5 Allport Lane Car Park_OS, item 50. PDF 49 KB