Harworth Group plc, a leading regenerator of land and property for development and investment, has begun infrastructure works to accelerate development at its Moss Nook residential development in St Helens following a significant grant award from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.
The £2.05m grant, funded by the Combined Authority from its £45m Brownfield Land Fund allocation from MHCLG, is being used to construct new spine road and associated infrastructure, directly unlocking Moss Nook’s first phase of around 240 residential units over 16 acres. These works, which began in early November, are being undertaken by PM Harris on Harworth’s behalf. Works are likely to take nine months in total, with landscaping to be completed in late 2021.
In addition to addressing local congestion issues, the new route will provide safe walking and cycling connections across the Moss Nook development. Harworth is also upgrading the power network across site to ensure that all new homes will have electric vehicle charging points. Harworth intends to announce its housebuilding partner for the first phase in early 2021, with the first homes to be built and occupied by the end of next year.
The 95-acre brownfield site, just over a mile to the south of St Helens town centre, has an outline planning consent for 900 new homes but has a complex history over a number of decades – with previous uses including a coal pit, colliery and a concrete pipe works.
The entirety of the site is likely to take between eight and ten years to complete in its entirety. Cushman & Wakefield advised Harworth with its funding application.
“We have a very clear policy that we should look at brownfield sites first when building the homes that we need in our city region. As land previously used for mining and other industrial processes, and located close to the centre of St Helens, Moss Nook is exactly the type of brownfield site we should be developing and I’m pleased that our £2 million funding will enable this project to come forward.”Steve Rotherham, Metro Mayor, Liverpool City Region
“Moss Nook is the first site in our city region to benefit from the Brownfield Land Fund and will create decent homes for hundreds of people on land that has lain derelict since its industrial use came to an end. It is an exemplar for how we can work with developers to make brownfield sites viable and I’d encourage developers who may be considering similar projects to get in touch with us.”Cllr Graham Morgan, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Housing & Spatial Framework
“This plot of land has been derelict for a number of years, so it is great to see this funding which will help make the site a suitable spot for development in the future. Like any large-scale development, it is important to have the correct infrastructure in place to cope with the demands – and the fact this new road will open up safe walking and cycling routes is an added bonus as we look to encourage more sustainable, greener ways of travel – as well as promote living a healthier lifestyle. As a council, we are committed to a brownfield-first approach when it comes to any form of development, so funding like this is vital in helping us turn eyesore sites like this into quality housing – and I look forward to watching this project come to fruition.”Cllr Richard McCauley, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Regenerations & Planning
“Moss Nook is Harworth’s first residential development in the North West following our purchase of it in 2018 and this grant is essential in bringing forward a site that has stalled for a number of years. Despite the best of the British weather, works are progressing extremely well and we look forward to making our first engineered land sale in early 2021 so people can start living on the development as soon as possible.”Matt Whiteley, Development Manager, Harworth Group plc