JV seeks buyer for part of £200m housing scheme

Joint venture BXB Cowley Hill seeks buyer for part of £200m Liverpool city region project that already has consent for 1,100 new homes. Tony McDonough reports

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


Two plots of land with planning consent for more than 500 new homes being offered for sale in St Helens.

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.

Now BXB Cowley Hill has appointed agents at the Northern Land Agency to find a buyer for two of the four plots on the site:

  • Plot 1, at 12.7 acres, has consent for 220 homes, a children’s play area and an acre of public space.
  • Plot 3, at just over 16 acres, has consent for 316 homes, a children’s play area and 2.8 acres of public open space.

BXB director Gary Goodman described Cowley Hill as “Merseyside’s largest brownfield site”. He added: “With construction costs stabilising and residential land being in short supply, we believe this is the optimum time to invite offers for the site.

“Since securing outline consent we’ve been busy preparing the site for an onward sale.

“Working in partnership with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, St Helens Council and SP Energy Networks we’ve secured  a new 10MVA electrical substation and completed a new dedicated access for Pilkington.

“In addition, we are in the process of making a detailed planning application for the site spine road and entrances and we will be offering the site up fully remediated.

“We are expecting strong interest and the project further demonstrates our expertise in the brownfield land sector.”

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.

The joint venture intends to retain the commercial element of the consent, which will be delivered once the housing sites have been sold.

John Dunlop of Northern Land Agency added: “The market has been anticipating this launch and house-builders have been quick out of the traps.

“When you have a site with all the fundamentals in place, which is close to the town centre and in an established area with good schools, that’s hardly a surprise.”


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