Peel submits plans for £9m Wirral logistics park

Funded by Peel L&P and Merseyside Pension Fund, work will start on a £9m, 70,000 sq ft logistics park at Wirral Waters this summer. Tony McDonough reports

MEA Park
Image of a 70,000 sq ft logistics park planned for Wirral Waters

 

Work on a new 70,000 sq ft logistics park is set to begin at Wirral Waters this summer in a £9m development.

Site owner Peel L&P has submitted a planning application for Wirral Council for the first phase of what will be a Marine, Energy and Automotive (MEA) Park at Wirral Waters. It will provide specialist waterside logistics and manufacturing accommodation.

Funded by Peel L&P and Merseyside Pension Fund, the logistics park has the potential to offer hundreds of jobs, depending on the type of companies that will occupy the space. Wirral Waters will form part of the new Liverpool City Region Freeport that will offer significant incentives to firms across multiple Merseyside locations.

Over the past years there has been significant progress across the whole multi-billion pound Wirral Waters project including the completion of modular homes in a joint venture between Peel L&P and House by Urban Splash, a £130m project to build 500 new homes and the delivery of the Hythe office building, a 25,000 sq ft facility that has secured its first tenant.

Around 60 acres of dockland has been cleared and remediated for the MEA Park. The only building currently on the site is a large warehouse building that will also be refurbished. Work will begin in May on a streetscape project that will see cycle paths and better pedestrian facilities.

A chunk of the site will be for the decanting of facilities for ships which still regularly use the Birkenhead dock system. The next few weeks are also likely to see a planning application submitted for the £25m Maritime Knowledge Hub which is expected to help create 4,000 jobs in its first five years.

The MEA Park will be focused on attracting priority industries for the area, including from the marine, renewable energy, automotive, distribution, R&D and general manufacturing sectors. It will also accommodate port-related manufacturers and logistics occupiers.

Plans for the wider MEA Park neighbourhood include the development of a centre of excellence for Modern Methods of Construction, including modular construction, with the facilities and skills being used across a wide range of industries from house building to the energy and maritime sectors.

Richard Mawdsley, Peel L&P’s director of development at Wirral Waters, said: “The first phase of what will become the industrial and logistics heart of Wirral Waters continues the delivery momentum we now have on site.

 

Wirral Waters
Peel L&P’s Richard Mawdsley shows HRH The Princess Royal around Wirral Waters. Picture by Matt Goodfellow

 

“We continue to work with Government partners to drive this exciting regeneration project forward and to address the issues of historical market failure in the area. The industries which MEA Park will attract are vital for our economy, our growth and our communities and we will be pleased to get another project on site later this year.

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“Wirral Council’s support and approval of the Greenway project last year signals the Council’s commitment to the redevelopment of the whole West Float neighbourhood. The Greenway project will play a key part in the delivery of MEA Park by improving the local environment and enhancing the health and wellbeing of future residents and workers.”

The development has been earmarked for the first investment from the Wirral Waters Investment Fund (WWIF), enabled by Wirral Council through the Wirral Waters Enterprise Zone which is designed to encourage economic growth and create jobs at Wirral Waters.

Plans for the Greenway streetscape project along Beaufort Road, a major green public realm project which will surround MEA Park, were approved by Wirral Council last year. The Greenway project is expected to be on site in coming months and has been part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

It will provide an “attractive and sustainable” travel corridor, comprising a walkway and off-road cycle route, for those living, visiting or working in the area. The Greenway will be separated from the road via an attractive landscaped corridor, incorporating sustainable drainage systems, native tree species and a wildflower meadow.

The MEA Park project team includes: architects – Broadway Malyan; planning consultants – Eden Planning; quantity surveyor and project manager – Walker Simes; engineers – Curtins; mechanical and electrical engineering – CWC; urban design – Parkinson Inc; transport – Vectos; landscaping – BCA Lanscape.

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