Opposition to 1,200 new homes on bank of River Mersey - affordable housing and wildlife concerns

The brownfield site is currently being cleared of tonnes of waste.

Concerns have been raised over a huge development that could see 1,200 homes built next to the Mersey.

The homes would be built on Bromborough Wharf, an industrial site which was previously used for waste disposal near Dock Road South in Bromborough, Wirral. Part of the site is currently being cleared of tonnes of waste left there.

Two applications have been submitted to Wirral Council with the site included in the council’s draft Local Plan, which outlines its house building and planning strategy. The policy includes prioritising brownfield sites, land already developed or used, before developing on the greenbelt.

Developers say it would invest £155m into the local economy, provide nearly 200 construction jobs as well as more than 1,000 more widely as well as £1.35m in council tax every year for Wirral Council.

Councillor Jo Bird, who represents Bromborough, said she welcomed more homes in the area but said she opposed the planning proposals at the moment.

She said there was not enough affordable housing provided in the application, claiming Bromborough has the second highest number of people in urgent need of rehousing in Wirral. She added that more than 11,000 households across Wirral are on a waiting list.

Cllr Bird added: “I have always been fully supportive of building homes and you should build on brownbelt but we should be building affordable homes.” Developers plan for 20% of the homes to be affordable, which would be more than 240 homes for this development.

A statement from developers Grammont Group and Bromborough Riverside Regeneration said: “We will continue to work with the council and wider local stakeholders to help us shape our vision and develop a viable scheme that maximises the community benefits.

An illustration of what the housing could look like on Bromborough Wharf

“We are planning to deliver a range of new high-quality and energy efficient housing, including houses and apartments suitable for families and first-time buyers, purpose-built accommodation for older people, and are also exploring the potential for providing affordable homes.

“This housing mix will mean that we can both meet local needs and attract people from further afield to live in Bromborough. We have also planned the positioning of the proposed new homes to minimise the noise from nearby businesses and avoid this being unduly disruptive for the day-to-day lives of new residents.”

Cllr Bird also had concerns about bus services, shop provision, impact on local schools as well as the site’s proximity to the site of special scientific interest (SSSI) on the Mersey where seals and seabirds are found.

She said: “I would need to see evidence that the development doesn’t impact wildlife. Bringing more people to that site means it will disturb nature.”

The developers said: “We are also mindful that the site is located adjacent to a SSSI, and have sensitively designed the scheme to provide a bio-diversity buffer along the SSSI which will help protect this area and minimise the impact of our proposals.”

The brownfield site at Bromborough Wharf.

Cllr Bird also wants to see money offered to local schools, as well as plans for a shop to help provide for the 1,200 homes. She added: “I am wanting to see a commitment to bus services in that part of the borough where the new development is going. At the moment there is only one and it doesn’t go by the new development. That is not enough.”

The Bromborough Wharf developers said: “Bromborough Wharf will deliver significant benefits for the local community, including a new flexible space for all residents to use, as well as the unique opportunity to create a riverside destination for exercise and relaxation with a beautifully landscaped promenade overlooking the River Mersey that has pedestrian and cycle access.”

“This includes providing a new bus route and walking and cycling routes through the site, lots of green and public open spaces, and electric vehicle charging points.”