Developer to build £3m Mersey sports complex

Developer and regeneration specialist Haworth Group will build £3m outdoor sports facility at Liverpool city region new homes site. Tony McDonough reports

Penlake Juniors
Penlake Juniors FC in S Helens will move to a new £3m home


Harworth Group has announced plans to build a £3m outdoor sports facility next to a new housing development in St Helens.

Developer and regeneration specialist Haworth has started work on the first phase of its development at Moss Nook which comprises 258 new homes. It also opened a new spine road between Watery Lane and Sutton Road – Provenance Avenue – in December 2022.

Now the second phase of development, which has secured planning consent, will see four new sports pitches created for Penlake Juniors FC as well as a multi-use changing room and car park built at Cromdale Grove.

Established in 1971, Penlake Juniors FC has become a production line for professional clubs with players going on to join teams including Bradford City, Norwich City and Bolton.

Penlake will relocate from its current home at Beechams Playing Fields, with the land to be used for residential development as part of a future phase of Moss Nook.

This application also includes new and improved footpaths linking the sports facility to the local area and providing connections to future phases of Moss Nook.

It follows a consultation with the local community, which led to a number of changes to the proposals. As a result of feedback the football pitches were moved further away from residential properties on Cromdale Grove.

The 95-acre Moss Nook site, just over a mile to the south of St Helens town centre, has outline planning consent for 900 new homes.

In 2020, Harworth secured £2m funding from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to help accelerate development of the complex brownfield site. Work is expected to start on the new playing fields in spring 2024.

Andrew Pexton, regional director for North West, Harworth, said: “Moss Nook is one of the largest regeneration projects in the region and is set to deliver up to 900 new homes including affordable and homes to rent alongside larger family homes.

“With the first phase already under construction, today’s decision is an important step forward in delivering a new residential community in St Helens.

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“The plans for a new high-quality sports facility at Moss Nook will see more than £3m invested and deliver lasting benefits for the local community, enabling Penlake Juniors FC to support even more young players.”

Gary Goodwin, club secretary at Penlake Juniors FC, added: “I know that Penlake Juniors FC members will really appreciate this major investment and the state-of-the-art facilities the project will deliver.

“We’re very proud to have worked with thousands of young people over the last 50 years. The new facilities will futureproof the club, allowing us to grow and provide opportunities for more young players for many years to come.”

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