Proposals to redevelop several parcels of land off Harthill Road, in Liverpool, for 51 new homes will facilitate the relocation of local community organisations into better premises and allow money to be invested in the neighbouring Calderstones Park.
Under the plans submitted to Liverpool City Council, several local charities and community groups will benefit by relocating to new premises and the Grade II listed Beechley House will be restored and brought back into use, alongside high quality housing from Redrow’s Arts & Crafts inspired Heritage Collection.
The land in question is not currently accessible to the public and has a variety of uses, including the Harthill Road council maintenance depot.
Simultaneous with submitting the planning application, developer Redrow is writing to local residents and interested parties with additional information designed to support the Council’s statutory public consultation process. A newsletter and website will explain how current users of the land stand to gain if the plans go ahead. They will also provide plans, images, and further information on the proposed scheme.
The proposal is being brought forward by Redrow Homes under the umbrella of the Liverpool Housing Partnership, a collaboration between Redrow, the City Council and Liverpool Mutual Homes, designed to deliver 1,500 new homes over a five-year period.
With existing occupants relocated to better facilities, in their place Redrow is proposing 35 high quality detached family homes, plus refurbishment of the Grade II listed Beechley House former care home into six apartments and two duplex units, with its summerhouse converted to one self-contained property. The stables would be converted into three mews properties and there would be four new-build mews adjacent to Beechley House.
Faye Whiteoak, Redrow’s development director for Liverpool, said: “The whole masterplan has been very carefully thought out, with the greatest care and attention given to how the setting of the Grade II listed Beechley House can best be respected. We have worked hard to make sure the house designs and layout respect the adjoining park. We have also incorporated managed amenity space into the development.”
Councillor Frank Hont, Liverpool City Council cabinet member for housing, said: “This land has all been in private use for many years. Through the Partnership, the Council has been working closely with the site’s existing occupants to bring forward a scheme that will greatly improve their facilities, whilst at the same time freeing up almost 13 acres of land to create 51 high quality new homes that are sympathetic to the adjoining parkland surroundings.”
If the plans are agreed, Beechley Riding Stables – part of the Riding for the Disabled Association – will receive help to relocate and develop new, improved facilities at Clarke Gardens, in Allerton; CalderKids Adventure Playground will be able to fulfil relocation plans to much better facilities; and the miniature railway operated for over 75 years by Merseyside Live Steam and Model Engineers Club will move into the main body of the park, where it can be better developed as a popular family attraction.
Donna Trotman, project manager for CalderKids Adventure Playground, which provides a much needed service to more than 120 children and young people with disabilities from across the city, said: “We wholeheartedly support the plans for the future of Calderkids Adventure Playground. Our building on the Harthill estate is no longer deemed fit for purpose and the cost of total refurbishment or rebuild is astronomical. After consultation with management, staff, service users and their families it was whole heartedly agreed that it is in the best interests of the organisation and its longevity to relocate. We relish the prospect of moving to much better facilities which will accommodate our ever growing services, which are a need and a must in this city for disabled children and young people.”
Other benefits include sensitive conversion and long term sustainability of the listed buildings, including Beechley House, while interesting features in the grounds, such as the Ha Ha and entrance gates and drive, will be retained and restored. The surroundings will be improved by removing the indoor equestrian arena, which rises above the boundary wall and currently dominates the listed building.
Capital receipts to the Council from the sale of the land will support off-site affordable housing and Section 106 payments linked to the application will create a fund for improvements within Calderstones Park itself, eg. financial support for the relocation of the Neolithic Calderstones as part of the Reader Organisation’s proposal to enhance the Mansion House and new display facility for the stones.
The existing allotments, the park’s woodland riding trail and the existing scout hut would not be impacted by the proposals and other spin-off benefits of the plans will include increased Council Tax revenue for the city and, based on independently researched figures, support for up to 220 jobs (4.3 per home) through direct on-site employment, indirect employment in the supply chain and induced employment through spending in local shops, business and services.