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First new building approved within massive Wirral Waters scheme

Glenn Howells Architects (GHA) has won planning permission for the first new build scheme within the 1.4 million m² Wirral Waters scheme on Merseyside

The new Wirral Met College Campus is part of Peel Holdings’ 30 year, £4.5 billion redevelopment of the Wirral and Birkenhead docks which was worked on at masterplan stage by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, HKR, and Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM).

Approved by Wirral Council last week (8 August), the scheme is being billed as a dedicated ‘built environment, skills and enterprise centre’.

Richard Mawdsley, project director at Peel said: ‘Wirral Met College will be the first new building within Wirral Waters.  Since we received planning permission for Wirral Waters back in May 2012, we’ve been focussed on site preparation, remediation and infrastructure – all of which take time and all are needed to enable us to start delivery.’  

He added: ‘It’s a college building that is a centre for construction skills - hence we want the building itself to be a tool for learning.  It’s essentially “an essay in construction”.’

The site preparation and remediation of the site itself has been funded by a £2.5 million repayable loan to Peel from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

The college is due to be open in September 2015. 

Wirral Waters

Previous story (AJ 01.12.10)

Government approves Wirral Waters scheme

The 1.4 million m² Wirral Waters scheme in Liverpool was spared a lengthy delay this week following Communities Secretary Eric Pickles’ decision to refuse a public enquiry

The minister has effectively approved developer Peel Holdings’ plans for the £4.5 billion redevelopment of the Wirral and Birkenhead docks.

A string of practices including Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, HKR, Glenn Howells and Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM) have worked on the design.

Plans for the Mersey riverside site include a number of restaurants, cafés, bars, a hotel and ‘cultural attractions’.

Lindsey Ashworth, Peel’s development director, said: ‘The ridiculous “black hole” of a planning system that we have had to suffer in the UK for more years than I can remember is finally starting to show signs of common sense.

‘The planning shackles that have been holding back progress and job creation are being loosened at long last.’


Previous story (AJ 04.08.10)

Massive Wirral Waters plans approved

Peel Group’s £4.5 billion Wirral Waters scheme, the largest planning application ever submitted in the UK, has been approved by Wirral Council’s planning committee (4 August)

The project, which is expected to take 30 years to complete, will regenerate 18 million ft² of derelict brownfield site at Birkenhead docks.

The likes of Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, HKR, Skidmore Owings Merrill, and Glenn Howells have already worked on the project and more practices are likely to be appointed as the development progresses.

Councillor Andrew Hodson, Wirral Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and planning strategy, said: ‘This is a great day for Wirral. We have been working closely with Peel for almost four years to bring jobs and regeneration to the borough.’

He said the ‘total transformation’ of the waterfront site could create up to 20,000 jobs.

‘This has taken place against a backdrop of the worst recession in living memory and it is a credit to both Peel and Wirral Council that we have kept the plans moving.’

The plans must now be approved by the Government and Peel hopes to start on the site by 2012.

Approved: £4.5 billion Wirral Waters - Vittoria

Approved: £4.5 billion Wirral Waters - Vittoria

Previous story (AJ 15.12.09)

Wirral Waters becomes largest planning application in UK history

Peel Group has submitted what it claims is the UK’s biggest planning application – the £4.5 billion Wirral Waters scheme

The firm, which operates Liverpool John Lennon Airport, is seeking to build a high-density and partial high-rise development to provide 13,000 homes at Birkenhead Docks on Merseyside.

The project will be delivered in stages over the next few decades, and is expected to provide more than 4,000 construction jobs over the life of the scheme. The likes of Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, HKR, Skidmore Owings Merrill, Glenn Howells and Liverpool-based architects Falconer Chester Hall have already worked on the project and a host more are likely to be appointed as the development progresses.

Peel has worked with Wirral Council, representatives from the community and other stakeholders during the past three years to develop the proposal.

Lindsey Ashworth, development director at Peel said: ‘It is Peel’s belief that Birkenhead Docks has huge potential in so many ways and Wirral Waters, together with Liverpool Waters, will completely transform the way the western end of the North West goes about its business.

‘It will redress the imbalance of the region and create what I would describe as a new super region that will further strengthen this as a destination for international business and as a place to live.’

Peel hopes the application will be considered by Wirral Council’s Planning Committee in the spring of 2010.

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