Developer seeks consent for road in £200m scheme

Developer BXB Cowley Hill submits planning application to build new road to service proposed £200m Liverpool city region housing development. Tony McDonough reports

Cowley Hill
Brownfield site in Cowley Hill in St Helens earmarked for a £200m housing scheme


Plans to build 1,100 homes on a former industrial site in St Helens have taken a further step forward with the developer submitting an application to build a road into the site.

BXB Cowley Hill, a joint venture between brownfield land specialist BXB and Promenade Estates, secured planning consent for 1,100 new homes, a hotel and 43,000 sq ft of commercial space close to St Helens town centre in March 2022.

In December LBN revealed the JV had carried out £3m of enabling works on the site, backed with funding from Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Brownfield Land fund. This included the installation of a 10MVA electrical substation.

In April LBN reported the developer was seeking a buyer for four plots of the residential element of the scheme, which will have a total value of £200m. Once the residential plots are sold it intends to develop the commercial element itself.

In the meantime BXB Cowley Hill has submitted a planning application to St Helens Council for an internal spine road to service the 104-acre site.

Work has now begun to prepare the ground and provide end users with a development platform that will facilitate the delivery of new homes on Plot 1, a 12.7-acre site with consent for 220 homes, a children’s play area and an acre of public amenity space.

The developer announced in December that it would be undertaking the delivery of the site preparation works and the construction of the internal spine road itself rather than factoring it into the plot prices for developers.

This move is to take advantage of the technical work already completed and the in-house expertise within the joint venture partners. The internal road will provide the required infrastructure to service all four plots.

Gary Goodman of BXB said: “The delivery of the road unlocks the whole site as this application confirms the finished development platform level for the entire plot, drainage and other infrastructure, entrances.

“It will coincide with the development platforms being completed on Plot 1 and provide an oven-ready solution for house-builders.

“This is the biggest brownfield housing allocation in Liverpool city region and the phasing is geared towards the market’s run rate in a popular suburb such as Cowley.”

The road will run through the entire site, connecting with the existing highway network at College Street and creating a new vehicle access at Washway Lane.

Gary added: “It is only when this entrance is created that the local population will understand the scale of the development.

“The physical and economic impact of bringing this brownfield site back into productive use cannot be underestimated and it will have a massive positive impact on the town of St Helens.”

It is projected that £15m is expected to be spent on goods and services each year by the new residents and £1.5m of annual council tax receipts generated on full occupation.

Curtins are the highways engineers for the project, with Nexus the planning consultants.

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