Public realm opens up Wirral Waters site

Access to East Float on Wirral’s Waterfront has is being opened up to the public for the first time in more than a century thanks to public realm works. Tony McDonough reports

Public realm works are opening up East Float at Northbank in Wirral Waters


Public realm works at the Northbank Waterfront at Wirral Waters will mean the East Float area will be opened up to the public for the first time in more than a century.

Wirral Waters owner Peel L&P has appointed contractor Eric Wright Civil Engineering (EWCE) to create parks, green spaces, dockside walkways and cycle routes around the Northbank quarter of the multi-billion pound development.

It is at Northbank where a joint venture between Peel L&P and Urban Splash is creating the 30 factory-built modular homes. The first homes will be ready for occupation in spring 2022. A 500-homes Legacy project is due on site shortly.

Large sections of a new dock edge walkway are now complete, ultimately opening up public access to the dockside of East Float. This ‘upper boardwalk’ pedestrian and cycleway link will create a thoroughfare for residents alongside the water’s edge.

The first of two small residential parks, which have been designed to create green open spaces at the heart of this new mixed neighbourhood, is also shortly to complete. The parks are adjacent to the very first residential developments at Wirral Waters.

A series of four contemporary squares, currently under construction, will connect the Dock Road pedestrian and cycleway public realm works through to the dock edge, improving connectivity.

The new neighbourhood being created at Northbank has been designed to facilitate an open, mixed and connected community, which improves the health and wellbeing of existing and new residents and encourages active travel.

EWCE was also responsible for the public realm improvement works which took place earlier this year to the walking and cycling route that marks the boundary of the Northbank neighbourhood. 

This included the construction of 590 metres of shared cycleway and footpath next to the A5139 Dock Road, between East Float Apartments and Duke Street, as well as landscaping, street trees, boundary treatments, new street lighting columns and digital infrastructure.

Public realm works are well under way at Northbank in Wirral Waters


The public realm works have been assisted by a £6m grant awarded in the autumn of 2019 from Homes England’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) to Peel L&P.  The grant, which is one of the biggest HIF grants to be awarded in the North West, has helped fund essential remediation, infrastructure and public realm works at Wirral Waters.

Richard Mawdsley, director of development at Wirral Waters, said: “At Northbank we are creating a neighbourhood with community, green public spaces and connectivity embedded in its foundations so that it becomes a place that enhances the quality of people’s lives.

“This is the first residential development we are delivering at Wirral Waters and you can now see it coming together on the ground. It’s already becoming a great place to walk and cycle and it’s exciting to see that life is beginning to return to this traditional dockland area once again.”

Alan Evans, director of regeneration and place at Wirral Council, added: “It’s incredibly exciting to see this area developing, making a tangible difference to the lives of our residents and businesses.”

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