Following the Council confirming on Friday 24 May 2019 that it was in discussion with St Modwen about purchasing the assets which St Modwen owns in Kirkby town centre, the Council’s Cabinet gave the green light to proceed with the purchase on Friday 19 July 2019. We are keeping everyone updated of the latest news as soon as we have information to share.
Will housing be built on the college site on Cherryfield Drive?
The Council’s Cabinet gave approval to proceed with the purchase of the college site on 19 July 2019, so it is very early days and no formal decisions have been made on this site. We will be working up wider plans for Kirkby town centre which includes all of the sites in the town centre and the land to the south of Cherryfield Drive and a public consultation process will follow to enable everyone to have their say before any formal plans are approved. In addition, any development would be subject to formal consultation as part of the planning process.
What about the planning application which has just been advertised?
We are currently consulting on some detailed amendments to the approved retail scheme. The amendments arise from detailed design and layout work and also seek to increase the number of pumps at the petrol station. Some of the amendments have come directly at the request of Morrisons, which further demonstrates their commitment to this scheme. The application can be viewed here.
Have you heard back from St Modwen about your offer?
Yes, St Modwen’s Board has agreed to accept our offer and today (Friday 19 July 2019) our Cabinet agreed to go ahead with the purchase St Modwen’s assets in Kirkby town centre.
The conclusion of the deal will mean that the Council will for the first time have control of Kirkby town centre. We will be able to kick-start the regeneration of the town centre which has been promised by various private sector organisations over the last 20 years.
Our offer to St Modwen is justifiable and affordable. Until all of the detailed legal agreements have been signed, the offer will remain commercially sensitive. We have to respect St Modwen’s confidentiality with this business deal. We will share further details once everything has been finalised.
This is great news for everyone – residents, existing businesses, new businesses and investors.
What does the ‘deal’ include?
The deal includes the Council acquiring the existing shopping centre, the new retail development (including a new supermarket, petrol station and other stores), and land to the south of Cherryfield Drive.
Do you have any other plans for Kirkby town centre?
Yes, as well as the deal to purchase St Modwen’s assets, the Cabinet has also today (19 July 2019) agreed plans to deliver a cinema and restaurants/bars scheme (on the former Kirkby Library site on Newtown Gardens) and purchase the Knowsley College site on Cherryfield Drive. The College has plans to secure accommodation closer to the town centre – something they have wanted to do for some time. Purchasing the Cherryfield Drive site from them will enable the College to progress with their plans to relocate to new premises in the heart of the town centre.
What timescales are you looking at/what are the next steps?
Now that a deal has been secured, there will be a lot of “behind the scenes” activity taking place to agree and sign a number of detailed legal agreements and agree the various schedules of work and timetables. We are looking to get this work done over the new few weeks and will then make the details public. We are keen for work to commence on site as soon as possible, but we need the legal work to be completed as a priority.