Exciting development opportunity

Update - May 2021

Wirral Council is now seeking to appoint a development partner to deliver an exciting and comprehensive regeneration scheme in New Ferry.

The development, which will be on phased basis, is set across three key sites in the centre of New Ferry, one of which is now fully controlled by the council. The council already has outline planning consent for a mix of residential and retail space.

The council will use a competitive dialogue process to identify the developer. During the dialogue process there will be an opportunity for discussion about the detailed delivery of the council’s vision.

To support the regeneration of the area, the council is providing:

  • resources to assist with the full land assembly and site preparation. Many sites are already acquired but where the remainder cannot be acquired by agreement the council has approved the use of compulsory purchase powers and the formal process of making the Order is now progressing. There will also be significant development grant funding of £2.6m available from the recently approved Future High Street Fund subject to state subsidy principles
  • highways and environmental improvements to the area, including a new public car park within the town centre and de-pedestrianization of part of Bebington Road to improve access to local shops. Funding is already secured from the Future High Street Fund to undertake these works.

A Find a Tender or Cabinet Office Notice (formerly OJEU) will be issued via the council’s tendering portal, the Chest, which will be the start of a formal competitive dialogue process. To be in a position to receive this notification please ensure your company is registered on the portal.

The council is expecting to issue the Notice in May-June 2021.

Background

Working closely with residents, community groups, elected members and other stakeholders, Wirral Council is driving forward with a regeneration plan for New Ferry.

Outline planning permission is already in place for the masterplan and it is hoped that by the summer 2021, a preferred development partner will have been appointed to take this project forward.

The plan incorporates a combination of residential and retail developments over three separate areas of land in the area.

One of the three areas earmarked for development is the site of the March 2017 gas explosion on Boundary Road, while another development will be opposite the explosion site where many existing retail and residential buildings were damaged beyond repair in that blast.

The third site incorporates a block of largely derelict and disused retail units along the main New Chester Road, as well as part of a council-owned car park on Woodhead Street that backs onto the explosion site.

In total, across the three sites the outline planning permission is for the building of up to 79 new residential units – a mixture of two and three-bedroom houses and one and two-bedroom apartments. There is also outline planning consent for more than 1,000 square metres of retail floorspace across the sites.

Timeline

  • Future High Street Funding awarded – December 2020
  • Making of CPO (subject to Member agreement) – June 2021
  • Preferred Developer identified – September 2021
  • Completion of CPO – November 2022 (estimated 18 months assuming that the CPO has to run its full course.)
  • Development of Griffith’s site completed by January 2023
  • Development of 41-43 Bebington Road completed by March 2023
  • Development of Woodhead Street car park completed by September 2023
  • New Chester Road site (subject to CPO) completed by September 2024
  • Bebington Road/Grove Street site (subject to CPO) to be completed by December 2024

Compulsory Purchase Orders

The majority of the land and property earmarked for redevelopment was in private ownership. The council has invested £1.3m so far in an acquisition programme to bring these sites into council possession so it can bring in a development partner.

However, there remains a small number of properties where agreement has not yet been reached on the transfer of ownership. For that reason, Wirral Council is putting in place legal processes to pursue Compulsory Purchase Orders on these remaining sites if necessary in order to advance redevelopment as quickly as possible.

Future High Streets fund

Wirral Council was successful in a bid to the government’s Future High Streets fund to support and underpin the wider New Ferry regeneration masterplan. The area has been allocated £3.2m from the fund which will be spent on public realm and highway improvements in support of the regeneration plans.

It includes a scheme to partially reopen the currently pedestrianised Bebington Road to traffic and take away the barriers at the junction with School Lane so through traffic from the main New Chester Road would have access to the Village Hall and parking spaces within the retail centre of Bebington Road, as well as the new residential developments.

Short-stay parking bays may be incorporated into the highway improvements on Bebington Road to encourage further footfall to the businesses there and provide an improved appearance, with new benches, street lighting and landscaping. This would make the centre more attractive and accessible for occupiers, visitors and residents.

Community Land Trust

The vision of the New Ferry Community Land Trust (CLT) is to bring buildings that are currently empty back into use. In the district centre, this would ideally see ground floors in use as retail, leisure, community or exhibition spaces. Upper floors would also be used, with the ideal solution being affordable housing for people who cannot currently find homes. Find out more about the New Ferry Community Land Trust