Halton Borough Council have provided the following update in relation to the Astmoor Regeneration:-
With the Masterplan and Delivery Strategy now formally adopted and funding of £1.5m secured for the upgrade of Astmoor Road, work has been progressing on how the Council will deliver the masterplan over the next 5 years. This includes future funding potential, phasing of the works, and disposal of the 4 handback sites.
- Handback Land (land acquired for the Mersey Gateway and now surplus to requirements)
Three of the four handback sites remain under Mersey Crossing Board ownership. This is largely due to outstanding technical information that was expected to accompany the formal handback of each of the sites. All of the sites are available for development proposals however.
Discussions have been ongoing with the Council’s Asset Management team and term consultants, Sanderson Weatherall with regard to the disposal of the sites. Because of the Council’s legal obligations to Mersey Crossings Board and the constraints that puts on the sites, consideration must be given to retaining control and access for maintenance and what is allowed under the carriageway. In addition, the Council are currently considering a marketing strategy that recommends on the disposal of the sites, the appointment of a development partner and how the sites should be marketed. Hence, external legal advisers will be appointed to advise on the structuring of a joint venture proposal.
HBC have recently completed the purchase of the former CBS Land Supplies on Davy Road. This will expand the existing Davy Road handback site, into a more easily developable site that will be much more attractive to the market.
If you would still like to register interest in any of the handback land (Chadwick Road or Davy Road) please contact Rachel.Carter@sw.co.uk. All previous expressions of interest have been forwarded to Rachel at Sanderson Weatherall who are managing this process on the Council’s behalf.
- Grant Funding
We are currently finalising the application for Single Investment Funding (SIF) from the Combined Authority (CA) to commence site investigations on each of the four 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. The application for £110,000 will be submitted shortly with a view to starting on site in the New Year.
In addition, topographical surveys have been ongoing on each of the sites throughout October/November with feedback expected shortly.
- 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. An extension to the scheme of one year has been approved and so will remain in operation until March 2025. 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.
To date we have received 2 applications, both are pending a final decision from the panel, with several other interested parties looking to submit applications.
During September businesses may have noticed a parking survey taking place on the east west road, Arkwright to Chadwick Road. This was done manually, recording the types of vehicles, the length of stay and included vehicles parked within premises where space is at a premium. No registration numbers have been retained. A very detailed analysis has been received which we are still working through. We also need to factor in that not everyone may yet be back at work. The final analysis will indicate the minimum parking requirements for this area where for so long, serious parking issues have existed, creating congestion. It was also good to hear that several interested businesses commented very positively about the planned regeneration works and these have kindly been passed on to HBC and noted.
The Transport and Movement Focus Group has been formed as an informal group so that HBC may run early ideas for the development of Astmoor Road past businesses impacted on directly by any changes or with a vested interest in the road. If your business fronts onto Astmoor Road, or you are a logistics company, or have a vested interest in Astmoor Road and any future plans and haven’t been acknowledged as a member of the group please just email firstname.lastname@example.org to be included.
- Footpath Improvements
167metres of footpath that runs between the expressway from Jensen Court up to Davy Road is to be reopened by clearing of the vegetation and paving flags replaced where required. This pathway forms part of the main pedestrian route from Runcorn Town Centre up to Sea lane. Lighting is a factor that needs looking at though. Some vegetation clearance will allow some light off the Expressway lights to get in and should be sufficient, but potentially the pathway may benefit from solar lights being installed.
- Bridge School
Work is ongoing in respect of relocation of the school. In order to have all constraints lifted under the Academies Act 2010 to allow the whole site to be available for development other than for education uses. The Council are required to submit an application to the Department for Education but it has come to light that land to the centre of the site is vested in the Crown. Therefore this application is on hold whilst the landlord acquires ownership of this area.
If anyone would like to view the Masterplan, Delivery Strategy or the video on the Council’s website, please click on the link: