Masterplan looks to transform Merseyside town

A plan to transform a Wirral town, including a remodelling of its Victorian promenade, has been put forward in a new masterplan document. Tony McDonough reports

Hoylake is looking to remodel its Victorian promenade


A new masterplan has been put forward for the transformation of a town in Wirral.

Proposals for improvements to Hoylake’s town centre, Carr Lane Industrial and residential areas and a remodelling of the town’s 120-year-old promenade have been put forward in a new masterplan document.

Commissioned by community planning forum, Hoylake Vision, the document has been produced by consultants AECOM, and has been based on the results of a consultation process in 2020 run by Liverpool-based CIC, PLACED.

Public feedback to the proposed masterplan will now be taken into consideration, after which a revised document will support the town’s Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP).

The NDP was passed at a public referendum in December 2016 in which 86% of local voters agreed that it should form part of Wirral Council’s Local Plan. As such the various objectives, priorities and policies within it must be considered by the local authority when planning decisions are made.

The masterplan will soon be accompanied by a ‘design code’ which will offer more detail about the options, for example high level ideas for a comprehensive remodelling of the Victorian promenade while tackling a range of drainage problems that have adversely affected the beach.

In March this year, the Government awarded £150m to Local Authorities around the country for 25 similar projects through its Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme with an average award of £6m per project.

It is hoped that, with a demonstration of public support and the proposals carrying real weight in terms of planning as part of the NDP, the council would be much better placed to secure funding from a future round of funding.

Chair of the planning forum Mark Howard said: “We hope this document will generate local interest in the work of the forum, as well as catching the eye of potential investors and the support of the local authority.

“We need to continue to promote Hoylake as a great place to live, visit, work and invest in by building on the successes of the past. We need to continue to attract more niche, independent destination businesses to come to Hoylake.

“And we need to continue to innovate by taking advantage of new post-COVID-19 social realities. This document sets the foundations for all of that.

“The ideas for a remodelling of the promenade are especially exciting, including sustainable drainage systems; all terrain wheelchair hire; more seating; landscape viewing points; ‘soakaway’ planting schemes; a small café and more.

“It is very much a promenade concept for the 21st century, putting ‘people before cars’; single level porous surfacing with pedestrian crossovers; improved traffic management and parking; EV charging points; and cycle lane markings. We are also still very keen to hear more suggestions from residents and businesses.”

Jo Harrop, director of PLACED, added: “It’s really good to see this document take such good shape from the consultation we ran in 2020. It clearly shows just how much positivity and creativity there is in Hoylake.”

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