The once-in-a-generation transformation of St Helens town centre received the green light from St Helens Borough Council’s Planning Committee last night (Tuesday 27 September), which follows on from the approval of regeneration plans for Earlestown town centre earlier this year.
Images have been released following the approval which show new views of the proposed bus interchange transformation and how clear focal lines will be created to the impressive Parish Church, drawing visitors into the town centre, together with striking visuals of the new market hall which will be an anchor of the redevelopment.
The English Cities Fund (ECF) – a joint venture between nationwide master developer Muse, Legal & General and Homes England – will now advance detailed designs for Phase One of the exciting St Helens town centre masterplan, which will include high-spec sustainable office space, an internationally branded hotel, new family homes, alongside a new market hall, shops and beautifully landscaped public spaces. This is part of ECF’s 20-year, borough-wide, strategic partnership with St Helens Borough Council.
The approved planning application includes for some demolition of existing property and outline consent for new buildings, which will allow for flexibility in further phases depending on market conditions. The proposals are aligned with the St Helens Town Centre Masterplan Development Framework, which was adopted by the Council’s Cabinet in February 2022 following extensive and positive community engagement.
Sustainability, along with creating a positive community legacy, is at the heart of the masterplan. The regeneration in St Helens town centre will help address the climate crisis through the creation of sustainable buildings and transport infrastructure within carefully curated public spaces, in line with the Council’s net zero aspirations.
Councillor David Baines, leader of St Helens Borough Council, said: “Less than a year ago we asked the public what they thought of our plans for St Helens town centre and their overwhelming support for this project shows that this is the right plan. Gaining planning permission for this exciting first phase of development shows that, with thanks to our partnership with ECF, we are delivering on residents wishes to see our town centre revitalised at the very earliest opportunity. “We’re now in the process of seeking to finalise the last few property purchases and we’re moving as fast as we can to deliver this ambitious transformation that will once again make St Helens town centre a place to be proud of.”
Stuart Rogers, Projects Director at ECF, added: “Together with St Helens Borough Council we’ve made significant progress and we’re delighted to receive approval from the Council’s Planning Committee, which will enable us to move forward at continued pace, turning the vision for the town centre into a reality.
“Now we’ve received approval on our plans, we can continue our collective mission to bring forward new places and opportunities in the borough that will deliver real, positive benefits to communities for the long term. Our work in partnership with St Helens Borough Council will be a shining example of place-based, community-focused regeneration and we’re excited for a bright future.”