Peel L&P submitted the planning application to Wirral Council last year and, under delegated powers, the Council’s planning department has now given the scheme the go ahead.
Known as Egerton Village, it will be located at Four Bridges, adjacent to Wirral Metropolitan College construction faculty, the proposed new £7.5m No 1 Tower Road South office block at Tower Road, and the proposed new Maritime Knowledge Hub that is focused on the hydraulic tower building. This project cluster is close to the residential developments emerging along the Northbank element of Wirral Waters.
With waterside views across to Liverpool, Egerton Village will be a creative and community hub for visitors, students, businesses and residents. It will comprise of a dockside restaurant and bistro, small independent retail units, artists’ studios, managed workspace and even a large public events space.
The waterside village has been designed by OMI Architects, following an architectural competition. Its design is a response to the Wirral being a series of villages, the site’s quayside location on the docks and its views across to the River Mersey and Liverpool. It will also be modularly constructed, providing fantastic work experience opportunities for construction students at Wirral Metropolitan College.
Egerton Village is due to benefit from funding from the Wirral Waters Investment Fund. Because Wirral Waters is part of the Mersey Waters Enterprise Zone, the local authority can retain 100% of new business rates generated from tenants, but on the proviso that the rates are then reinvested back into the Enterprise Zone to create jobs and additional rates income. This is innovative but necessary as it addresses the acute market failure of the area plus it creates a recyclable fund which will benefit the area.
Richard Mawdsley, director of development at Peel L&P, said: “Egerton Village is a really important development at Wirral Waters as it will help provide some of the facilities and amenities that are missing but that lie at the heart of a regeneration project. It has been designed to serve new and existing residents, students and local businesses as well as visitors. Securing planning is a positive step forward.”
Nick Berry, Director of OMI Architects said: “The approval of the Egerton Village proposal is a positive milestone in the delivery of what will become the natural ‘hub’ for leisure activities within Peel L&Ps wider Wirral Waters vision. Egerton Village will provide an opportunity for local businesses to contribute to this unique waterside environment, creating a new and exciting place for workers, residents, artists and visitors to enjoy. A lot of the hard work behind the scenes at Wirral Waters is now starting to pay off. It’s been difficult – but we now have a line of sight for the delivery of a number of inter-related projects.”
Wirral Council cabinet member for Jobs and Growth, Cllr Tony Jones, said: “There is a real momentum building at Wirral Waters which is seeing more and more significant steps forward. The confidence this is building up cannot be over-estimated and shows how important Wirral is becoming as a place to invest and the opportunities it offers. This latest announcement is continuing proof that this is an exciting time for the Wirral.”