Wirral Waters gets government green light

November 30th, 2010

wirral20waters24The £4.5bn Wirral Waters scheme, the biggest planning application in the UK, has been given the green light by the government. Wirral Council gave the go ahead for the Peel Holdings scheme in August, but the plans had to be scrutinised by ministers in Whitehall.

The proposed development at Wallasey and Birkenhead Docks is so large that it could have been called in for a public inquiry, but the secretary of state for communities and local government Eric Pickles confirmed that it will not undergo further review.~

Lindsey Ashworth, Peel’s development director, praised the decision, saying the “ridiculous ‘black hole’ of a planning system” has now started to “show signs of common sense”.

“The recession has made the whole masterplanning process so difficult in so many ways but I have kept my word,” he said. “The new government advocates that the local communities should be listened to and if they supported projects then that would have a substantial influence on the final government decision.”

Ashworth added: “The planning shackles that have been holding back progress and job creation are being loosened at long last. Wirral Waters being granted planning permission is a great win for everybody. The North West is preparing to claw its way out of this recession and this planning permission motivates us all to push forward on more fronts.”

Wirral Council leader Cllr Jeff Green said: “It’s not everyday that a leader of a council is given the go-ahead to see 26,000 jobs created. I am delighted the government has demonstrated its trust in allowing local people to make the decision and will not call in the Wirral Waters plan for national review.

“This is a £4.5bn project which will create many thousands of jobs over the next ten to 15 years. It is a landmark day for Wirral and is tremendous news.”

Peel has been busy promoting the scheme in China where it was lead sponsor of the Liverpool pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo. Last month the company said an unnamed group of wealthy Chinese developers have signed a preliminary agreement with over the multibillion-pound plans.

Green added: “When I was in China, I spoke to people about possible investment opportunities. Now we have full outline planning we can start marketing the plans to other potential investors.

“There was real interest shown in China in terms of Wirral Waters and Liverpool Waters. We need to now get cracking and start seeing these jobs created.”

[Image: Artist’s Impression of Wirral Waters]

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