The company behind the proposed regeneration of the redundant Parkside Colliery in Newton-le-Willows has confirmed that it will be submitting a planning application today, 16th January, for the first phase of the site’s redevelopment.
Parkside Regeneration, the joint venture between developers Langtree and St Helens Council formed to redevelop the coal mine that closed in 1993, says it has made several positive changes to its original plans in response to an extensive public consultation exercise last year and is confident the scheme will deliver on its promise of thousands of new jobs for the local area.
“The demand for logistics and manufacturing space continues to be very strong and our proposals meet a clear need in the market,” explained 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 and have put in place arrangements with the Northern Logistics Academy and St Helens Chamber of Commerce to maximise the number of training opportunities for local people and to ensure robust engagement with a local supply chain.”
A new link road in to the site from junction 22 of the M6 was suggested by the public during last year’s consultation and has been carried forward by St Helens Council.
“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 throughout the area,” explained Mr Downes.
“During the council’s consultation on its plans our professional team has made sure that the council is fully aware of how the proposed new road can best contribute to the wider Parkside Regeneration proposals and address any local community issues.”
The planning application covers the project’s proposed first stage, which would incorporate up to 93,000 square metres of new employment space, providing more than 1,300 new jobs for local people. When fully operational, occupiers are anticipated to generate £80m a year in economic activity and to pay £2.2m a year in business rates to St. Helens Council, making a valuable contribution to the local authority’s total rates income. The application also proposes several junction improvements on the A49.
Commenting on the final plans, St Helens Council leader Councillor Barrie Grunewald, said:
“The submission of a planning application is a key milestone in the joint venture’s ambitions for Parkside. 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.”
No date has yet been set for the planning application to be heard, although it is expected to be ruled upon in the summer following the council’s own consultation on the proposals. Included with the submission is an extensive range of independent professional reports addressing all the key elements of a proposed significant investment of this nature such as road capacity, environmental impact and the development’s economic contribution to the borough. These will be available for public inspection via the council’s planning portal in due course.