We are aware that with change, many questions can be generated including what impact this development will have on the local area. Due to the site’s historic use, the Cowley Hill Works has a range of environmental and technical constraints. We have therefore sought to address some of the key issues we anticipate to be raised on this page.
If you would like to speak to a member of the development team about the site and our proposals, you can get in touch using the details available on the ‘Consultation’ page.
The Cowley Hill Works is allocated for strategic housing development in the emerging St Helens Council Local Plan. The Local Plan is a policy document which sets out the proposed location for the delivery of new homes and services between 2020 and 2035. The Plan has undergone several public consultations and will shortly be submitted to the Government, at which time an independent planning inspector will be appointed to examine it before it can be adopted. It is envisaged the adoption will take place in 2020.
The draft allocation of the Cowley Hill Works for the delivery of new homes means that it has been recognised by the Council as being a sustainable location for new homes. As a site located so close to the Town Centre, it is well-connected to the existing surrounding neighbourhood, including services such as local shops public transport and utilities.
By delivering new homes in the location, the site will assist the Authority in meeting its recognised housing needs, whilst also protecting other sites in the Borough, such as those within the Green Belt.
To ensure the delivery of this site and new housing at this location, BXB Cowley Hill Ltd will prepare and remediate the site in response to this emerging allocation. The Government regularly reviews and monitors Local Authority’s projected housing delivery numbers and it is therefore important for allocated housing sites within the Local Plan to progress. If this does not happen, speculative development could be brought forward elsewhere in other parts of the Borough on un-allocated land.
The historic topography of the site provides for significant level changes, specifically to the North along Washway Lane and the East along the historic alignment of the railway line. These changes in level present an opportunity to establish green corridors along Northern and Eastern boundaries of the site, alongside generous green corridors to provide additional public open space. It is intended that these green corridors will be planted up to provide areas of local habitat which will encourage the establish of indigenous species. We are proposing to retain large areas of green space on the site and provide additional public space and cycle access between the Greenway to the East and Victoria Park to the West, in addition to new connections between the North and South of the site.
Within the proposed Masterplan, which can be found on ‘The Proposals’ page, the retained Pilkington Glass buildings on site are afforded a generous buffer zone to the residential development and additional green tree planting and landscaping will improve the outlook towards the retained factory buildings.
It is a widely accepted principle that new developments should contribute to the additional costs brought about by their development. As part of the planning application, liaison has been taking place with St Helens Council, over the provision of educational, health and local community services, to ascertain how demand for these services can be managed. Where services gaps have been identified as a result of bringing forward the Cowley Hill Works development, financial contributions will be sought to address these gaps. Should the development create more demand for schools or medical services, the reasonable costs of the extra capacity will be met by us through a Section 106 agreement.
The delivery of new homes on the Cowley Hill site generates an incentive payment from Central Government to St Helens Council to support the building of homes and will be available to spend on local facilities to benefit the community.
Ensuring that the development is sensitive to the environment is key to our approach. Alongside the planning application, a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment will be submitted. We will work with the Council to deliver any required environmental mitigation measures and minimise the impact on local wildlife.
Our aspiration for the scheme is to create a green and tranquil environment for residents to enjoy. As part of our public consultation, we are inviting feedback from the local community on how we can achieve this.
In preparing the planning application, several technical studies have been undertaken to assess the impact the development will have on areas such as ecology, trees, noise and drainage. These studies will be available to view once an application has been submitted.