The Council appointed consultants in November 2018 to produce a 5-year masterplan for the regeneration of Astmoor. Three consultation events were held to take on board the views of businesses together with residents from the adjoining Wards. The Council has been working to ensure that the Astmoor Regeneration Masterplan is deliverable and works for businesses. This has meant a slight delay in finalising the document while we met with the Masterplan consultants along with our Planning and Highways colleagues to be absolutely sure that we have addressed all concerns so that the proposals are workable and enhance not only the image of the estate, but also the working environment for employees, visitors and new investors.
The final Masterplan is expected on 20th December with the Delivery Strategy due mid-January. The intention is to then seek adoption of both documents from the Council’s Executive Board on 27th February and begin the process of securing funding for the proposals. We will then be in a position to share the final document with all stakeholders.
Draft Masterplan Key Amendments
There have been changes to the current draft Masterplan concerning two key elements around Arkwright, Brindley and Chadwick Road:
The proposal to operate a one way traffic flow in this area has now been omitted. However, work to the east west road i.e. the road that runs across the top of Arkwright, Brindley and Chadwick Road has been retained. This has been refined to widen the road slightly, include parking bays and allow for a pedestrian footpath to one side by omitting the proposed grass verges. New energy efficient lighting and signage will complement the upgrade.
The stopping up of the Greenways (the grassed areas between the units) in the same area has also been omitted to protect the outdoor space for the enjoyment of employees and pedestrians. The Greenways are to be protected wherever possible and change of use is required if you wish to use the grassed area for any other purpose. However, some refurbishment work will be carried out to rationalise obsolete footpaths and to repair some of the concrete steps located within the Greenways.
Handback Land (land acquired for the Mersey Gateway and now surplus to requirements)
The return of the Astmoor handback land to Council ownership is imminent. The Goddard Road site is in Council ownership already but we expect the 3 remaining sites to be returned in the New Year. Anyone that has formally contacted us with an expression of interest will be contacted as soon as we know more and agreement has been reached on the marketing of the sites.
If you would still like to register interest in any of the handback land (Chadwick Road, Goddard Road and Davy Road) please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Council is currently in the process of pulling together an application for Single Investment Funding (SIF) from the Combined Authority (CA) to commence site investigations on each of the hand back sites as well as the Council owned Old Quay Street site just off Astmoor Road, as a pre-emptive to the marketing of the sites. Early indications following a pre application meeting with the CA are very positive indicating that they would like to be involved in the regeneration of Astmoor in the long term.
National Non Domestic Rate Relief (NNDR)
A quick reminder to anyone considering a new build, an extension or major refurbishment on Astmoor, that the tapered Discretionary Rate Relief scheme available over 3 years commenced on 1.4.19 and will remain in operation until March 2024. Open to landlords and developers (you may apply on behalf of a future end user) any planning permissions required must already be in place. This also includes any permissions required for the design principles that you have elected to include as part of your application for rate relief. You may also apply retrospectively for any building under construction or completed since 1.4.19 when the scheme was launched. Please contact email@example.com for an Information Pack that includes the application form and guidance regarding the design principles.
The £1.5m STEP funded works on the Busway will be substantially complete by the end of the year. There will be some snagging and finishing off works where Scottish Power will need to divert a cable.
During October and November businesses may have noticed the traffic count on Astmoor Road. This was implemented to assess the capacity of the road if it were to be narrowed to a single lane boulevard. Consideration was also given to seasonal demand and access for HGVs joining and leaving Astmoor Road together with the long term capacity for increased volumes of traffic from the expected influx of new businesses once the handback land is disposed of. The results have been analysed by Masterplan traffic consultants Curtens, and verified by the Council’s Highways engineers. The analysis indicates that Astmoor Road is underused and has the capacity to manage a much greater volume of traffic than currently exists. Therefore the intention to reduce the carriageway remains in the Masterplan. The design will be drawn up and shared with businesses before any works start. In addition the speed limit will reduce to 30mph and three toucan crossings will be installed at the bottom of Arkwright, Brindley and Chadwick Road to encourage and safeguard pedestrians. The footbridge will no longer be required and will be removed.
Welcome to New Businesses
A recent exercise to assess the demand for units on Astmoor has resulted in some very positive statistics. In the two years prior to the opening of the Mersey Gateway Bridge only 10 new businesses moved onto Astmoor. In the two years since the bridge opened in October 2017, 29 new businesses have moved in. This is excellent news for Astmoor and demonstrates how popular the estate is becoming. We hope that the regeneration of the estate will further enhance these figures making it one of the more desirable estates in the Northwest.