BXB Cowley Hill Ltd is proposing the regeneration of Cowley Hill Works in St Helens. The site is redundant, brownfield land and we are bringing forward plans to redevelop the site for residential purposes to benefit the wider community.
Local authorities, such as St Helens Borough Council, are required by Government to prepare a Local Plan setting out where they will deliver new housing and business premises in the coming years.
The St Helens Borough has been identified to need at least 9,234 new dwellings (an average of 486 new dwellings per year) before 2035 in order to meet housing requirements locally. If this document is not delivered, the Government has the power to step in and determine where new homes and businesses should be delivered.
St Helens Borough Council is in the process of finalising its Local Plan. Once this has taken place, the Plan will be reviewed by the Planning Inspectorate ahead of being adopted by the Authority.
Cowley Hill Works has been allocated as one of the sites capable of delivering new homes to meet the Borough’s housing requirements. The site is the largest brownfield allocation with the Plan and could deliver approximately 10% of the new homes the Borough is identified to need.
Due to its previous use and the number of people previously employed at the site, Cowley Hill Works has experienced high volumes of traffic movement throughout its life. A Transport Assessment prepared by Curtins confirms that there is sufficient capacity at the required junctions to accommodate the proposed number of dwellings on the site without resulting in a significant adverse impact on the local highway network. Access to the site is proposed from the following locations: Washway Lane; former Pilkington’s Glass Access on College Street; Oldfield Road/City Road; Cowley Street/Albert Street; and Cowley Street (opposite Victoria Street). In addition to the new access locations, the wider Masterplan provides sustainable infrastructure, providing connections to the wider St Helens area. This includes the installation of cycleways, pedestrian crossings and wide, well-lit footways. You can find out more about the transport strategy by accessing the application on the Council’s website and using the reference number P/2020/0083/OUEIA.
BXB Cowley Hill Ltd has purchased 104 acres of land from the NSG Group. The receipts from the sale of the land will utilised by NSG Group as part of its ongoing commitment to St Helens.
BXB Cowley Hill Ltd, alongside its appointed project team, will work to bring forward an application that will deliver a high quality development and is in line with national, regional and local policy requirements. The team is working closely with senior officers at St Helens Borough Council and liaising with other public sector stakeholders to establish a Masterplan which best serves the local community. Should planning permission be secured, BXB Cowley Hill Ltd will seek to remediate the site, deliver key infrastructure and dispose of land parcels to one or more housing developers who will be responsible for the delivery of the homes. It has not yet been confirmed who the housing developer (s) will be.
The vast majority of the site has been redundant and underused for a decade. The land at Cowley Hill Works has a variety of former purposes, including areas with industrial buildings and furnaces that have previously been used as part of the glass production, an area of waste (generally comprising sand, glass dust and cast iron) and railway sidings. Due to the historic site activities, which include land-filling, there are also significant changes in site level which will be addressed in the bringing forward the land for re-development.
An Environment Impact Assessment and Landscape and Ecology Strategy Plan have been submitted alongside the planning application. More information about this can be found by using the reference number P/2020/0083/OUEIA on the Council’s planning portal.
Employment opportunities will be created from the construction jobs required to deliver the new development. The housebuilding industry is a major part of the UK economy, generating approximately £38 billion a year and supporting 689,000 jobs*. The plans for Cowley Hill Works will create significant investment through construction, which will in turn sustain full-time jobs during the construction period. It is estimated that approximately 250 jobs could be generated by the development, either directly or in directly through the supply chain.
Furthermore, the development will increase the number of people living in the area, who will spend more money in shops and local services. This additional spending could help new businesses and facilitate new investment, as well as create additional jobs in the area. Based on a notional figure of £5,000 per dwelling, 1,000 homes could generate £5 million in ‘first occupation’ spending to make a house ‘feel like a home’. A proportion of this is expected to be spent within the Town Centre, due to the site’s proximity from this area. Initial estimates suggest that the development could generate expenditure on local services equivalent of £15m per annum.
BXB Cowley Hill Ltd will work with a house-building partner to deliver this site. It is envisaged that a mix of house types will be provided at the site, including family houses and affordable properties for first time buyers and key workers such as teachers and nurses.
It is a widely accepted principle that housing developers should contribute to the additional costs brought about by their development. We will liaise with the local authority and, if necessary, the local education authority and health providers, to ascertain how demand for school places or medical services, for example, will grow and what capacity there will be in the area to cope. If there is a need to expand local services as a result of the new development, we will agree a payment for any expanded facilities needed. 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. This is an incentive payment from the Government to councils to support the building of homes and will be available to spend on local facilities to benefit the community.