Works begin on £200m new homes site

Joint venture vehicle BXB Cowley Hill starts enabling works on a £200m Liverpool city region development that will see the building of 1,100 new homes. Tony McDonough reports

Cowley Hill
Masterplan for the £200m Cowley Hill development in St Helens


Enabling works on a former Pilkington glass works site that will be the location of 1,100 new homes has started.

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 earlier this year.

Supported by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Brownfield Land fund, BXB Cowley Hill has already carried out £3m of works on the site. This includes the installation of a 10MVA electrical substation.

The joint venture partners had previously considered selling the site with a certified technical solution for the delivery of a development platform, with the cost of remediation deducted from the final sale price.

It says the change of tack is to take advantage of the technical work already completed and the in-house expertise within the joint venture partners.

Daniel Hynd of Promenade Estates said: “The site brings back into productive use vacant land that will have a massive positive contribution on the local economy of St Helens.

“It is part of our ‘brownfield first’ strategy and taking control of a key element of its delivery enables us to control quality whilst also sustaining momentum in the site’s delivery.”

Development of this site, once operated by Pilkington, is adjacent to the firm’s glass coating facility, which remains operational.

A spokesperson for BXB added: “We have the skills in-house to manage the process and, having already led on the whole technical strategy, putting it into place will be straightforward.

“We can offer additional certainty to the market and control the pace and quality of delivery.”

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