Housebuilder purchases former RSPCA site to build 162 homes

Plans for Wilbury Park

Housebuilder Miller Homes has completed the purchase of the former RSPCA Centre in Halewood, south Liverpool, for an undisclosed sum.

The site will host a new housing development, to be known as Wilbury Park, and its purchase comes after several years of working with Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council on the wider East of Halewood Sustainable Urban Development.

The Wilbury Park site is located on Higher Road and will have excellent transport links nearby to the city centre and airport, as well as being commutable to other cities such as Manchester.

Miller Homes plans to bring 162 homes to the site, which will include a collection of two-, three- and four-bedroom homes. Eighteen of the homes will be affordable. All house types will feature a collection of the newest and most popular designs which all include open plan layouts and space for remote working.

The site contains the grave of the locally famous Blackie the War Horse. As a designated heritage asset this will be retained within a large area of public open space in the form of a wild flower meadow.

David Brackley, land and technical director for Miller Homes North West, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for Miller Homes, the site is in a fantastic location and showcases the best of the Miller Homes new product range.

“The setting around Blackie’s grave and the enhanced public realm will create a development with a real sense of identity and connection to the history of the site.”

Alongside bringing new homes to the community, Miller Homes will also be making contributions of £1.6m to the local area – £13,000 will go to the refurbishment of a new reception of the Halewood Centre, £135,000 will go towards nursery education, and £571,000 will go towards local primary school places within Halewood schools.

Added to this, contributions of £141,000 will be made towards the improvement of outdoor sports provisions at Halewood Leisure Centre.

Other causes that will benefit from Miller Homes’ contribution to the Halewood area are green infrastructure, bus services, social value and significant local highway improvements.

The RSPCA was represented by Avison Young, Miller Homes represented themselves and was advised through planning by Lichfields, Cushman and Wakefield (viability), Betts Associates, STEN Architecture and Hourigan Connolly.