What’s next for multi-billion pound regeneration project as first residents move into Wirral Waters

Birkenhead is set to see thousands of new homes and improved railway stations as part of the huge investment plan.

The first phase of Birkenhead’s multi-billion found investment masterplan is off to a winning start, with 30 new homes on the docks completed and the first residents already moved in.

Known as Wirral Waters, the development along East Float, now renamed Redbridge Quay due to its proximity to the famous red bridge in the northeast corner of Wirral docks , will see in 1,100 homes built, including 100 affordable homes 20% cheaper than the current rates in Birkenhead.

Located in the emerging Northbank neighbourhood at Wirral Waters, the waterside development is surrounded by beautiful Grade II listed grain warehouses, a new pocket park, green landscaping and new public realm, including dockside walkways.

The first phase of Redbridge Quay consists of 30, now completed, new homes – a mix of the award winning ‘Town House’ and ‘Row House’ modular homes, designed by Liverpool architects Shedkm. Peel L&P took over the whole development from Urban Splash earlier in the year and is planning to invest £4.5bn.

Arthur and Doreen have become the very first residents to move into the new development after previously leaving Liverpool for Lancaster. Drawn back to the city region because of its history and connectivity, the couple found Redbridge Quay and knew they had to move back to the area.

The second phase of the development will continue in 2023 and Peel hopes to host a series of community events over the spring and the summer in the park to encourage people to visit the docks, where large parts were previously not open to the public. The Edgerton Village area will also see cafes, retail and more public space open up.

Richard Mawdsley, Peel L&P’s director of development for Wirral Waters, said: “These first new homes will be surrounded by pocket parks, trees and public realm along the water’s edge, transforming Wirral docks in to place of calm and green suburban living.

Arthur and Doreen have become the very first residents to move into the new development.

“This development will also be a significant contribution to the shortfall in local housing, well away from any green belt land, and will ensure the delivery of new homes for families, individuals and couples in a highly contemporary, sustainable and accessible location. We are looking forward to moving forward with the second phase of Redbridge Quay in 2023.”

What is happening after this?

Planning applications have been put in for 1,800 homes as part of the Vittoria Studios developments as well as 56,000 square feet of commercial space. These will be near Corporation Road on the south side of the docks.

Given there are plans for a large number of homes with few transport links next to some of the developments, Peel said it was in discussions with the Liverpool City Region to develop transport links beyond walking and cycle routes.

Mr Mawdsley said: “They’re not too close. We have the ferry terminals and it is flat but if you live in Redbridge Quay, you’ve got a 25 minute walk to the train station so on a wet and windy November night, it’s not particularly pleasant.

This is what Wirral Waters might look like in the future (Credit Peel L&P)

“We need something like a feeder service and we are working with the council and the city region to solve that problem. We need to give people the choice of what to do and wean people out of the car.”

He added current discussions included an improved bus system and a light rail connection using existing infrastructure but that the focus for now is on delivering the projects on the north side.

Mr Mawdsley said: “Rome wasn’t built in a day so we need to be looking at individual projects and getting those off the ground and clustering those into neighbourhood areas and all the infrastructure.”

Birkenhead investment masterplan

Birkenhead has previously been promised billions of pounds of investment as part of a grand masterplan for the town. As well as Wirral Waters, the plans include redoing Woodside Ferry terminal, Hamilton Square, the town centre and its famous market. A new park will also be created along a disused train line and promises of more than 23,000 new homes.

People can expect to see work begin next year on a proposed Maritime Knowledge Hub, if approval is granted by Wirral Council. The hub will be based in the refurbished hydraulic tower that dominates the skyline.

This is what Maritime Knowledge Hub could look like. Credit: Ellis Williams Architects

Developers are preparing to begin work on a new dementia care facility with accommodation for more than 100 people, which Peel said could bring in 150 new jobs. The development will be next to Redbridge Quay with Peel aiming to create mixed neighbourhood in the area.

Cranes are also putting up the Millers Quay apartment blocks which will have 500 new apartments as part of a £130m investment with dockside walkways, cycle routes and greenspace. 20% of these will be affordable and people are expected to be moving in by 2025.