Please find below a brief update on where things are up to with the Masterplan:-
The Astmoor Masterplan is due to be finalised in the next few weeks and will then be presented to the Council’s Executive Board in November by consultants BDP for formal adoption. Wherever possible, comments received during the consultation process that took place in March/April have been incorporated.
Once formally adopted the first tranche of funding for Phase 1 works will be sought with an expected start on site in the springtime 2020.
A traffic survey will take place on Astmoor Road for 1 week to guide Masterplan highways consultants Curtins on the best way to proceed with changes to Astmoor Road. This will be done electronically and will not interfere with traffic flow. You may remember from the consultation that there are proposals to reduce the carriageway width to introduce proper footpaths, additional parking and also reduce the speed limit.
Due to complications with the busway work, completion is likely to be November/December, bearing in mind the latter stages of the works are not in the industrial side from Astmoor Road to Irwell Lane. Currently the works are 90% complete in the section from Astmoor Spine Road to Davy Road. Highways are postponed Edison junction and moved to Hardwick junction as the lights were out of service so this area will needed to be completed first. Some sections between Davy and Hardwick are to be omitted until autumn for tree works. Once these junctions are complete there should be little to no impact on businesses.
The first draft of the Delivery Strategy that sets out how and in what order the Masterplan will be delivered has also been received and the Council are working with Asset Management colleagues to ensure that the final document will see the Masterplan delivered in a logical, methodical way that reduces disruption to businesses and presents the best options for the disposal of the handback land that lies either side of the Mersey Gateway.
The Council is still awaiting the return of the handback land commandeered for the construction of the Bridge, from Mersey Crossings Board. This is expected by Christmas. In the meantime plans are being drawn up for how the handback land will be marketed, on what basis and when. Safety constraints exist as to how close construction will be allowed to the carriageway, and what may be stored underneath the bridge between the piers. Several businesses and developers have already approached the Council to register their interest in the land, so if you are interested and haven’t yet spoken to the Council or confirmed your interest, please drop an email to Diane Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org
An application for grant funding is being drawn up for ground investigations at each of the 6 handback sites. This will reveal if any remediation work is necessary and will help with discussions regarding future disposal.
As part of the Masterplan the Council is working with the Astmoor BID to create a healthy Astmoor. Please speak to BID Manager Joanne Taylor who is working with the Council’s Health Improvement Team to provide free health checks across the estate. Jo can also look into Mental Health training, absence management and appointing Health Champions, and will be covering more health topics at the BID Operating Group meetings in the future.
Just a reminder that the Discretionary Business Rates scheme is up and running for anyone looking to refurbish, extend or building new on Astmoor. The scheme offers tapered relief starting at 100% in Year 1 for any 3 year period between April 2019-2024 on the uplift. The scheme is optional and does not affect any planning decisions but if you intend applying, all planning permissions must be in place first. Please drop Diane an email if you would like to receive an information pack.