St Helens gets go-ahead for compulsory purchases

St Helens Council secures Government green light to use compulsory purchase orders to push forward with the multi-million pound regeneration of the town. Tony McDonough reports

St Helens
Image showing the proposed regeneration of Market Street in St Helens


A multi-million pound regeneration plan for St Helens town centres has been given a major boost after the Government gave permission for compulsory purchase orders (CPOs).

In May LBN revealed phase one of the project that would see the transformation of 24 acres of the town centre, had gone out to public consultation. Plans include a new market, hotel, homes, retrain space and offices.

St Helens Council, in partnership with English Cities Fund (ECF), has tasked Jon Matthews Architects with creating a masterplan for the transformation of the area.

Now a planning inspector, acting on behalf of the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, has rule that CPO powers can be used where agreements cannot be reached with property owners.

This regeneration of St Helens town centre has been prioritised following community feedback and the first phase development, which is facilitated by the CPO, is located at its very heart.

Proposals include a new market hall comprising 23 stalls, food and beverage outlets and a bar and performance area. There will also be a range of other amenities to encourage and cater for visitors through the daytime and evenings.

Outside the market hall will be space for play and child-focused street furniture. The market hall will be flanked by a mixed-use area set around a 150-bedroom hotel, 64 homes and 10,915 sq ft retail space and a 49,670 sq ft ‘sustainable’ office building.

The existing bus station will also be extended and renewed with a new modern interchange to encourage public transport and active travel usage.


St Helens, bus station
Image showing the proposed regeneration of St Helens town centre


St Helens Council is working on a 20-year regeneration plan for the borough with ECF, a strategic joint venture between Muse, Legal & General, and Homes England.

Cllr David Baines, leader of St Helens Council, said: “Everyone in the borough wants to see our town centres regenerated so that they are places we can all be proud of.

“The council is committed to delivering this change with an ambitious once-in-a-lifetime plan. We have the right partners on board and the determination to carry it through.

“With the independent planning inspector’s confirmation that we may use compulsory purchase powers where agreements can’t be reached – which will always be our first priority – we can now move forward with confidence.”

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ECF has already secured outline planning permission and says it will move forward with a more detailed application in September.

“The CPO hearing featured a strong representation from our regeneration partnership, and we are satisfied that the outcome allows us to progress,” and ECF spokesperson said.

“We are still hoping to reach a negotiated agreement with the one remaining qualifying objector. Nevertheless, our authority to use the CPO powers if required has been established.”

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