Home In focus First new homes agreed for Halsnead Garden Village
Halsnead Garden Village identity

First new homes agreed for Halsnead Garden Village

by Gemma Melling

Knowsley Council’s Planning Committee has approved proposals from Bloor Homes and Maro Developments to build up to 360 new family homes at Halsnead Garden Village, in Whiston.

This will be the first development at Halsnead Garden Village which is one of only a small number of similar developments across the whole of the UK. This is a major project for Knowsley and the wider Liverpool City Region as it looks to boost economic recovery following Covid-19.

In addition to creating high quality family homes in a Garden Village setting, the proposal will also see an injection of approximately £3.2 million into local services, as a result of legal agreements between the council and developer. This will include:

  • £1.27 million to increase primary school capacity.
  • £400,000 for more nursery and early years’ childcare provision.
  • £179,000 towards the creation of new neighbourhood play area, community orchard and allotments.
  • £210,000 to provide outdoor sports provision at nearby Lickers Lane playing fields.
  • £33,840 to accommodate increased demand for healthcare e.g GPs and dentists.
  • £1.06 million for the creation, management and maintenance of high quality green spaces on site.

Additional contributions will be made to improve drainage and also to ensure the project as a whole contributes – in terms of social value – to Knowsley. That includes encouraging jobs for the local workforce and engaging local supply chain businesses during construction and beyond.

With all costs considered, Bloor Homes will be contributing approximately £9,143 for every new house being built.

Cllr Tony Brennan, Knowsley Council Cabinet member for Regeneration & Economic Development said: “I am delighted that the first application has now been approved and that work can move ahead on this crucially important development.

“Halsnead Garden Village will bring more than just new homes to Knowsley. It will create local jobs, bring in major investment and, thanks to the agreements we have reached with Bloor Homes, it will also result in a huge injection of funding into local services and amenities – something that comes at a time when local finances are incredibly stretched due to Covid-19.

“With any new housing application people can often, understandably, be concerned about the impact on GPs, traffic, schools etc. This permission however, comes with a guarantee from the developer to adequately fund those local services that are so important. And that is on top of the £12 million we have already secured from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to improve connectivity and infrastructure around and into the site.”

At the Committee, full planning permission was secured for the first 123 properties and outline planning approval given to a further 237 homes. A further application from a different developer (which had not been recommended for approval) had been withdrawn earlier this week.

Cllr Brennan added: “Halsnead Garden Village is a really special development, and as such, we aren’t prepared to compromise on quality of the applications we will approve. We also will not grant permission on any proposals that we believe do not have considerable wider benefits.

“Projects like this are essential to our economic recovery. If you consider that this application alone will inject more than £3 million into local services and amenities you begin to realise how positive the impact of Halsnead Garden Village will be.

“That’s even before you consider the benefit to our local economy of bringing hundreds of new families to Knowsley to spend in our local shops, eat in our restaurants and contribute to the local area.”

About Halsnead Garden Village

Halsnead Garden Village, located near Whiston, is one of the first 14 sites in England to be awarded Garden Village status by the Government. It is the largest combined housing and employment site in the Liverpool City Region, with the potential to deliver approximately 1,600 homes and 22.5 hectares of employment land.

This highly-ambitious project will deliver a range of high-quality housing for Knowsley, and the city region. The employment element of Halsnead Garden Village will attract multi-million pound investment in the logistics and advanced manufacturing sectors, creating highly-skilled and well-paid jobs. This element of the Garden Village is currently at the pre-application public consultation stage and it is anticipated that a formal planning application will be submitted in the coming weeks.

In January 2019, the Combined Authority committed a contribution of £12.142m from its Strategic Investment Fund towards the development of the highway infrastructure to improve access to the Halsnead site.

Work has already started on major transport improvements off site, including enhancements to Tarbock Island at Junction 6 of the M62 and further road and junction improvements across six other locations in and around Whiston.