Developer reveals start for Wirral housing scheme

Developer Anwyl Homes tells LBN it is looking to start work on a multi-million Wirral project to build 125 new homes later this year. Tony McDonough reports

Unilever’s research and development facility in Port Sunlight. Picture by Tony McDonough


A project to build 125 new homes on part of the site of the Unilever research complex in Wirral may be under way later this year.

Developer Anwyl Homes Cheshire and North Wales has told LBN that, subject to planning consent, it hopes to start work on the site in Bebington in either autumn or winter this year.

Anwyl acquired the eight-acre site from consumer products giant Unilever late last year. It forms part of the company’s current research and development complex and was put up for sale in 2020.

Hundreds of scientists and support staff work in the world-renowned facility in Bromborough Road, which is separate from the main personal care products factory nearby. The R&D site is in Bebington, just outside Port Sunlight village.

Staff will vacate buildings which are located adjacent to Quarry Road East and part of St Andrew’s Road. Among the buildings to be demolished is the 230,000 sq ft office and lab facility used for developing products and prototypes.

However, other buildings in the complex, including the Manufacturing Technology Centre and the recently built Advanced Manufacturing Centre, are not affected by the sale.

Unilever will use proceeds from the sale, which were undisclosed, to modernise its laboratory facilities. Some staff may relocate to the Materials Innovation Factory at the University of Liverpool.

Anwyl plans to build a mix of homes from one to four bedroom. It will incorporate energy efficiency measures into the properties including solar PV panels.

Phil Dolan, managing director for Anwyl Homes Cheshire and North Wales, told LBN: “We’ve submitted a planning application for 125 homes at what was formerly Unilever’s Port Sunlight research and development Site.

“Located next to a well-established residential area, our homes are designed to be in keeping with the character of the surrounding community.

“Our plans for the site include green space and a play area, alongside a diverse range of high-quality housing designs from one to four-bedrooms. All homes will have private gardens and off-road parking.

“The site boasts a sustainable location, close to the A41 and major transport links, with strong local amenities. Our proposed development will contribute much needed market and affordable homes to meet local housing need.

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“We’re also proposing a series of footpaths to link the development to the surrounding community including one through existing woodland to the south west. Subject to planning, we would hope to start work to clear the site in autumn /winter 2023.”

To view the plans in more detail log onto Wirral Council’s planning portal and search for reference number APP/22/01759.

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