Green light for £80m Parkside first phase, which could support up to 1,330 jobs

CGI of Parkside Phase one

The £80m first phase regeneration of the former Parkside Colliery site has been approved by St Helens Borough Council.

The local authority rubber stamped the ‘reserved matters’ application for the Newton-le-Willows site, which will deliver three units comprising around 800,000 sq ft of B8 space. Up to 1,330 jobs are also expected to be created with the first phase.

John Downes, chairman of Parkside Regeneration, the joint venture company tasked with delivering the redevelopment of Parkside Colliery, and chief executive of developer Langtree, one half of the project joint venture with St Helens Borough Council, said: “It’s been a long road to get to this point, but that’s a function of the project’s transformational scale and the detailed nature of what was required to get us here.

“I’m very pleased with the outcome and my thanks go to the council’s officers and the planning committee for their hard work in assessing such a complex application.”

He added: “I began my career at Parkside in 1976. The colliery was the most modern pit in the Lancashire coalfield and was a great workplace for a great number of people.

“Returning the site to a modern major employment generator for Newton-le-Willows has long been a key priority for me. Opening the site to public access has also been a critical part of the whole design process and we have worked hard on the landscape treatment which features an extensive heritage and trim trail.”

The scheme was granted outline consent following a public inquiry in November 2021, with the ‘reserved matters’ application submitted in May 2023.

Yesterday’s (March 12) approval covers the scheme’s detailed design for the necessary infrastructure, including plot levels and entrances. It also covers the details of the first three units in Phase 1.

Parkside will see up to 2.6 million sq ft of logistics and advanced manufacturing space developed on the former colliery site.

Cllr Kate Grouctt, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Skills and Business, said: “This approval allows us to step up our work with local companies and residents to ensure that they have an opportunity to benefit from the investment that can now flow as a result of the consent.

“Only last week the Parkside team funded and attended a careers fair for St Helens and Newton-le-Willows school children, exploring the various job opportunities that will become available as the scheme moves forward, and this type of engagement will continue.”

She added: “The real measure of success will be the economic impact on Newton-le-Willows and the wider region through the creation of high quality jobs, along with the social value generated through spending with local firms, the gains in biodiversity and a focus on education and skills. Now that this key milestone has been passed, we can progress with our plans with even greater confidence.”

The £80m first phase will benefit from the construction of the £55m Parkside Link Road, which connects the site to Junction 22 of the M6 motorway.

Once completed, phase one is expected to generate more than £2.2m in annual rates income for St Helens Borough Council and add more than £80m of output per annum to the borough’s economy.

Spawforths is the planning consultant for the scheme, with Curtins advising on highways, Fletcher Rae the architects and TPM Landscape the landscape architects.

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