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CARR LANE AREA

SUPPORTING POSITIVE DEVELOPMENT

THE QUESTION

Support for improvements to the Carr Lane area are explicitly set out in the NDP Vision Statement, in Objective 6, Priority area 5.7 as well as Policies CL1 and CL2. What specific priorities for businesses and residents in the area can be identified?

CURRENT POLICY WORDING

CL1. LOCAL EMPLOYMENT DEVELOPMENT

Proposals for local employment development (Use Classes B2, B8 and sui generis) shall be subject to a sequential test, with suitable and available sites within the existing Carr Lane Industrial Estate being the sequentially most preferable. Only if there are no suitable and available sites within the Carr Lane Industrial Estate will proposals for other sites within the existing built-up area be considered. In all cases, proposals must demonstrate that they would have no significantly adverse effect upon either the living conditions of occupants of nearby buildings with a residential use or the distinctive character of the area.

 

CURRENT POLICY WORDING

CL2. COMPREHENSIVE REDEVELOPMENT

In the area defined as CL2 on the Proposals Map a comprehensive
mixed-use redevelopment scheme, or individual proposals delivered as
part of a phased masterplan approach will be permitted, provided that:
  • the living conditions of existing residents would be improved; and
  • the long term needs of businesses would be catered for.

 

OBJECTIVE 6 WORDING

NDP Objective 6

To ensure that Carr Lane Industrial Estate remains an attractive location for micro-enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises that provide local jobs.

INTRODUCTION

The Carr Lane industrial and residential estate is one of Hoylake’s most significant assets in terms of both housing and jobs provision.

However, it faces clear challenges as a result of long term under-investment in infrastructure, accessibility (it is cut off from the rest of Hoylake for 15-20 of minutes of every hour by the level crossing) and resulting socio-economic issues.

The current NDP Policy CL1 is designed to protect existing jobs and infrastructure from future negative impacts, especially in the form of unsuitable ad hoc developments; whilst policy CL2 takes a more holistic approach in anticipation of any more comprehensive future redevelopment, protecting jobs, whilst improving on the quantity and quality of housing stock, protecting and enhancing public green space, and employment provision.

This is considered within the associated masterplan area CL2.

In the original draft of the current NDP, area CL2 included an area of greenbelt land to the south of the estate, which is identified in the Council’s existing Unitary Development plan as being “in need of landscape renewal”, an ambition which the forum had hoped that inclusion in the NDP would support, whilst providing stronger protection of the greenbelt, and which was clearly reflected in the wording of the policy.

However, following representations made during the pre-examination process by the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) and the Wirral Society, the examiner required this land to be removed from the masterplan area.

He said: it is illogical to include an undeveloped area of open countryside within the provisions of a policy aimed at securing the redevelopment and regeneration of an existing industrial estate. While the policy refers to ensuring that strict controls apply within the Green Belt this cannot serve any practical purpose since only a small number of development types are considered appropriate within the Green Belt or are identified as exceptions to Green belt policy in the NPPF.”

The current proposals for a new golf resort include this land as part of a new municipal golf course. It is not known at this stage whether the council intend to propose residential housing on any part of that land but, regrettably, the NDP will now have less influence in any future decisions made about this area.

Nevertheless opportunities for Carr Lane within the existing reduced footprint of Masterplan area CL2 remain.

The NDP considers both a short term and a longer term vision for the key assets of Hoylake and Carr Lane is no exception.

If, for example, as was suggested in this document produced by Liverpool University and commissioned by Hoylake Vision in 2012, the Scottish Power Training Centre were to leave Hoylake, what would happen to the land released by that? NOTE: we do not know what Scottish Power’s current plans are so this is a theoretical consideration at this stage.

Would it be sensible to provide new housing and more high quality public green space in any future areas of unused, currently industrial land, closer to the railway station, crossing and town centre, via a new, accessible footbridge?

But policy CL1 is clearly designed to protect jobs and infrastructure, so where could new industrial or commercial space go?

We do know that, at the southern edge of the estate is an area of brownfield land; the “Ellerman Lines” site. Proposals to build housing on this site were rejected in 2013 and again in 2014.

Perhaps it would be more suitable to build new, energy efficient and fit for purpose commercial and industrial unit(s) on this site, perhaps transposing some existing Carr Lane businesses to that space, thereby releasing more land closer to the station for further new residential development?

Could existing residents be given priority access to these new,  more energy efficient homes in these high quality residential and public green space developments?

And what about the railway line? Are there ways we can improve on crossings? If the council’s proposed Golf Resort proceeds, will a new access road be helpful to existing residents as well as businesses and will it reduce traffic congestion in Hoylake?

Any long term view of Carr Lane must consider all of these questions but it is vital that existing residents and businesses are fully involved in any proposals that come forward.

It is also important that other Hoylake residents and businesses become involved; there could well be plentiful untappped opportunities for everyone; but none should be at the expense of existing businesses or residents.

NEXT STEPS

In order to further develop Policies CL1 and CL21 in the next iteration of the NDP in 2020 we will need to:

  1. Consult widely with the residents and businesses of Carr Lane area.

SUPPORT SHOUTOUT:
INDUSTRIAL AND RESIDENTIAL REGENERATION CONSULTANT

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CARR LANE AREA
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