The former Kew Park and Ride site in Southport is due to be sold for new housing. 

Sefton Council is expected to approve the sale of the land to Homes England when councillors attend a Cabinet meeting next week (Thursday 9th March 2023). 

Homes England already owns the adjoining site at Crowland Street. 

When added together it will give them ownership over a site in excess of 63 acres. 

It is not yet known how many homes would be built on this extensive site at this stage. 

The proposed sale value of the land has been restricted by the council. 

Kew Park and Ride has previously been described as “Southport’s white elephant”, an expensive and ambitious project that didn’t succeed as hoped. 

The facility first opened in 2007, costing £5 million to develop. 

It was intended to serve the thousands of visitors who visit the town from Lancashire settlements to the east, such as Ormskirk, via the busy A570, and ease traffic congestion in Southport town centre.

It boasted 600 parking spaces, toilets and baby changing facilities and cost just £1 per day.

However, despite regular bus services running to and from the town centre, it never achieved anywhere close to the popularity hoped for and closed down in 2010.

It did re-open for another trial period in 2012 but this again proved unsuccessful.

Since then, the land has sat empty.

Following the disposal, the site will be developed as part of a larger residential development proposal, dependent upon the award of detailed planning consent.

It will be subject to a detailed master plan and a planning application to deliver a policy compliant housing scheme. 

A report by Sefton Council Executive Director of Corporate Resources and Customer Services Stephan Van Arendsen said: 

“Homes England acquired the land at Crowland Street in March 2022 and thereafter approached the Council seeking terms to acquire the Council’s interest in the land at Foul Lane, subject to the completion of intrusive site investigations and a valuation being completed.

“Acquiring the land at Foul Lane would allow Homes England to work up a larger housing development scheme to be brought forward for planning in 2023/24. 

“The deal offered by Homes England is not conditional upon the award of planning consent. 

“The Council has allowed access for Contractors to undertake site investigations on the land for the highway crossing. The Combined Authority agreed to provide grant funding to the Council for pre-development works on site, which have been completed. There are abnormal ground issues at the site due to composition of underlying strata, which contains peat and has extremely poor stability / load bearing capacity.

“The agreed disposal price is supported by an independent valuation, which takes into account the intrusive site investigations and subsequent enabling works required to redevelop the site.”

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