Plans have been approved for a scheme which will see the construction of 743 new homes across a 63 acre site in Southport.
Sefton Council’s Cabinet has given its backing to the sale of the former Kew Park and Ride site in Kew to Homes England.
It enables Homes England to join the site with the existing Land at Crowland Street adjacent to it.
It is not yet known how much the land has been sold for.
The council’s Brownfield Register, published in 2021, has 65 homes allocated for the Kew Park and Ride site.
The facility, which first opened in 2007, cost £5 million to develop and hosted capacity for up to 1,000 cars.
Sefton’s Local Plan earmarks 678 new homes for the Land at Crowland Street site – the largest of any sites for new housing in Sefton in the plan with a 54-acre residential development. .
The two sites together would allow for over 700 new homes to be built.
A detailed planning application is due to be submitted to Sefton Council later this year.
A report of the Cabinet meeting says: “The Cabinet considered the report which sought approval to complete the disposal of land at Foul Lane (the former park and ride site) in Southport to Homes England.
“Following the disposal, the site will be developed out as part of a larger residential development proposal, dependent upon the award of detailed planning consent.
“A comprehensive review of the Council’s asset base is being undertaken in phases, with assets defined as either supporting operational activity, having heritage value, being required to support the growth programme or being available for disposal.
“Land at Foul Lane was identified as being available for disposal to facilitate a housing redevelopment scheme in line with the site’s designation in the Local Plan.
“Homes England approached the Council in Autumn 2022 seeking to acquire the site at Foul Lane, Southport, as they had recently acquired the adjoining site known as Land at Crowland Street, which is also allocated for housing redevelopment in the Local Plan.
“Acquiring the site at Foul Lane will provide Homes England with single ownership of a site in excess of 63 acres, which will be subject to a detailed master plan and a planning application to deliver a policy compliant housing scheme.
“This property transaction ensures delivery of new housing in line with the site’s allocation in the Local Plan and allows the land at Foul Lane and land at Crowland Street to be brought forward as a single master plan and delivered over a number of phases.”
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.
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.
A report by Sefton Council Executive Director of Corporate Resources and Customer Services Stephan Van Arendsen said:
“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 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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