A new planning application was due to be submitted today for the long-running redevelopment of a former colliery.
The plans to regenerate Parkside Colliery in Newton-le-Willows – which is now mostly Greenbelt – will bring up to 1,300 new jobs says Parkside Regeneration, the joint venture between developers Langtree and St Helens Council behind the plans.
But it has met with huge local opposition over a number of years and now says it has made several changes to the first phase of its plans after a public consultation last year.
“The demand for logistics and manufacturing space continues to be very strong and our proposals meet a clear need in the market,” said John Downes, group managing director of Langtree and chairman of the Parkside Regeneration joint venture company. “We are keen to ensure that our investment benefits the local community as much as possible.”
A proposed £40m link road from the motorway to the site will now only be added to the planning process in March 2018. Instead, the application proposes junction improvements on the A49.
A new link road to the site from junction 22 of the M6 was suggested by the public during last year’s consultation.
“We are very supportive of the proposals for the new link road as it will take pressure off Winwick and the A49 and address air pollution and congestion,” said Mr Downes.
The planning application covers the project’s proposed first stage which would incorporate up to 93,000sqm of new employment space and – the joint venture says – provide more than 1,300 new jobs. It also says the site is anticipated to generate £80m a year in economic activity and to pay £2.2m a year in business rates.
St Helens Council leader Coun Barrie Grunewald, said: “The submission of a planning application is a key milestone.
“It will show us the nature and scale of the opportunity before us to deal with long-term, generational unemployment in St Helens and bring a redundant, brownfield site back in to productive use.”
But Parkside Action Group has opposed the scheme and has said it would in reality bring very few new jobs to the area, instead clogging up roads and making life a misery for residents.