St Helens Council unveils 15-year masterplan

St Helens Star: Aspirational: Council leader Marie Rimmer has hailed the planning strategy. Aspirational: Council leader Marie Rimmer has hailed the planning strategy.

ST HELENS Council has drawn up a masterplan that aims to shape the prosperity of the borough over the next 15 years.

In an announcement this week, the council boasted of being the “first (local) authority in the Liverpool City Region to complete a core strategy”.

It sets out strategic planning policies for the regeneration and development of the borough.

More than 4,000 individuals and organisations have helped shape the local plan.

Its policies will be used to assess planning applications, preventing poor quality development and protect St Helens “most important features”.

Key objectives are:

  • To provide additional land for employment opportunities
  • 570 houses to be built each year
  • To review where and how we meet long term housing need
  • To make sure important infrastructure such as schools, roads and community facilities are provided and protected
  • To protect town and local shopping centres from inappropriate uses
  • To encourage development for better environments and communities
  • To make new development more accessible and provide better transport links
  • To protect important open spaces and recreation facilities.

Council Leader Marie Rimmer said: “This milestone is important. We have a plan that reflects the needs and aspirations of the people of the borough.

“It will enable us to require better development and we can move on to the next stage of making plans with our communities for their areas.

“Importantly is will allow us to say no to developments that we do not like and are not compatible with our borough.”

Comments (25)

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9:52am Sun 18 Nov 12

the dr who says...

do these people actually think we believe them, they need to find millions to pay that compensation.
do these people actually think we believe them, they need to find millions to pay that compensation. the dr who

10:13am Sun 18 Nov 12

smith&weston says...

''To protect town and local shopping centres from inappropriate uses'.... well the charity chuggers are inappropriate in my view but for the last five years , the council has been powerless to do anything about them.Whats changed that will now enable you to do so M/s R ?
''To protect town and local shopping centres from inappropriate uses'.... well the charity chuggers are inappropriate in my view but for the last five years , the council has been powerless to do anything about them.Whats changed that will now enable you to do so M/s R ? smith&weston

10:59am Sun 18 Nov 12

pitbullboxing says...

You could interpret a lot of those points to say "to use the tax payers money to keep the layabouts looked after and keep us in well paid jobs". You won't make a success of the town - time to go Marie. Close the door after you.
You could interpret a lot of those points to say "to use the tax payers money to keep the layabouts looked after and keep us in well paid jobs". You won't make a success of the town - time to go Marie. Close the door after you. pitbullboxing

12:21pm Sun 18 Nov 12

frankly says...

Same old ideas but nothing done..nice photo "again" of Marie though...lol
Same old ideas but nothing done..nice photo "again" of Marie though...lol frankly

12:22pm Sun 18 Nov 12

itme says...

I'll bet Baldrick's plan is even more cunning.
I'll bet Baldrick's plan is even more cunning. itme

12:23pm Sun 18 Nov 12

frankly says...

and knowing her, she WILL still be in the `15 yr run as well
and knowing her, she WILL still be in the `15 yr run as well frankly

1:27pm Sun 18 Nov 12

smith&weston says...

She and her mates have had 20 years or more between them to formulate a winning plan...... still waiting though.
She and her mates have had 20 years or more between them to formulate a winning plan...... still waiting though. smith&weston

2:01pm Sun 18 Nov 12

jumper says...

Very admirable what happend to the last ,.,.,.,yrs.Open spaces recreational,I give up expecting anything that is said is ever going to get done.
Very admirable what happend to the last ,.,.,.,yrs.Open spaces recreational,I give up expecting anything that is said is ever going to get done. jumper

4:59pm Sun 18 Nov 12

Bill Bradbury says...

They can start with the open space opposite St.Thomas' Church. How long have we been waiting for this development?
They can start with the open space opposite St.Thomas' Church. How long have we been waiting for this development? Bill Bradbury

5:47pm Sun 18 Nov 12

rosered1 says...

15 year masterplan....unbeli
evable. They have had an awful lot of years prior to now to make St Helens into a bustling shopping/visiting town and have achieved nothing except pound shops and "cafe bars". We now have the most disjointed town centre ever. And I love the key objectives of "building 570 new houses every year" whilst vowing "to protect important open spaces and recreation facilities" ~ quite frankly if some builder came along and waved cash under their noses to build 300 one person flats on Victoria Square, I am quite sure that they would consider it quite seriously. An abomination of a Council.
15 year masterplan....unbeli evable. They have had an awful lot of years prior to now to make St Helens into a bustling shopping/visiting town and have achieved nothing except pound shops and "cafe bars". We now have the most disjointed town centre ever. And I love the key objectives of "building 570 new houses every year" whilst vowing "to protect important open spaces and recreation facilities" ~ quite frankly if some builder came along and waved cash under their noses to build 300 one person flats on Victoria Square, I am quite sure that they would consider it quite seriously. An abomination of a Council. rosered1

8:59pm Sun 18 Nov 12

anthonywilson says...

The Council can produce all the plans it likes in the world but there isn't the money to implement much of it and there won't be either in the years to come irrespective of the colour of any future Westminster Government. This masterplan is simply an aspirational plan and a limited one at that.
If you can't get the builders to build and there is little money coming in from the Homes and Communities Agency to support the development of social housing those houses won't get built in terms of those numbers stated. People won't be able to afford the mortgages anyway unless the fortunes of the economy pick up which sadly won't happen any time soon. Its predicted that George Osborne has to find a further £48 billion http://www.thetimes.
co.uk/tto/news/polit
ics/article3596994.e
ce to address the structural defecit from next years spending review.
Having read the plan aspects of it a simply a rehash of the previous Core Strategy. Perhaps those who wrote it also need to be told that Saints Stadium has now been built and so has the new College.
Its interesting that the leader of the Council mentions that the plan, "will allow us to say no to developments that we do not like and are not compatible with our borough.” Funny that the plan includes again the proposal to develop the Parkside site and adjacent land as a rail frieght terminal. I thought most people who lived in the Newton area were utterly opposed to it?
The Council can produce all the plans it likes in the world but there isn't the money to implement much of it and there won't be either in the years to come irrespective of the colour of any future Westminster Government. This masterplan is simply an aspirational plan and a limited one at that. If you can't get the builders to build and there is little money coming in from the Homes and Communities Agency to support the development of social housing those houses won't get built in terms of those numbers stated. People won't be able to afford the mortgages anyway unless the fortunes of the economy pick up which sadly won't happen any time soon. Its predicted that George Osborne has to find a further £48 billion http://www.thetimes. co.uk/tto/news/polit ics/article3596994.e ce to address the structural defecit from next years spending review. Having read the plan aspects of it a simply a rehash of the previous Core Strategy. Perhaps those who wrote it also need to be told that Saints Stadium has now been built and so has the new College. Its interesting that the leader of the Council mentions that the plan, "will allow us to say no to developments that we do not like and are not compatible with our borough.” Funny that the plan includes again the proposal to develop the Parkside site and adjacent land as a rail frieght terminal. I thought most people who lived in the Newton area were utterly opposed to it? anthonywilson

9:49pm Sun 18 Nov 12

parkdale says...

Key objectives are:
•To protect important open spaces and recreation facilities.
Guess Sutton pool is not an important recreation facility then after the recent mothballing announcement!!!!
Key objectives are: •To protect important open spaces and recreation facilities. Guess Sutton pool is not an important recreation facility then after the recent mothballing announcement!!!! parkdale

8:02am Mon 19 Nov 12

keepitreel says...

have i missed something BUT i thought this is what a council was supposed to do anyway and that's why they got paid the wages they do,15 years!!!!!! what about the past 20 years of utter carnage they resided over WHEN the country had money,give us a referendum about a major for the town and get rid of the incompetents who have got us in the mess we are in now.
have i missed something BUT i thought this is what a council was supposed to do anyway and that's why they got paid the wages they do,15 years!!!!!! what about the past 20 years of utter carnage they resided over WHEN the country had money,give us a referendum about a major for the town and get rid of the incompetents who have got us in the mess we are in now. keepitreel

9:13am Mon 19 Nov 12

jumper says...

You are right it should be looked at If the performance has met anything that any manifesto put to the constituents.Elector
al commission should look at that not just the number of voter's to see if they have done anything they said together voted in including nationally.Mentionti
oned that we should have another mayoral referendum let us see what happens. Star could try a poll.
You are right it should be looked at If the performance has met anything that any manifesto put to the constituents.Elector al commission should look at that not just the number of voter's to see if they have done anything they said together voted in including nationally.Mentionti oned that we should have another mayoral referendum let us see what happens. Star could try a poll. jumper

10:23am Mon 19 Nov 12

Bill Bradbury says...

Anthony have I missed something as you mention Parkside as a rail terminal. I don't see it in the plan above and I thought it was a dead duck as the company proposing it pulled out.
Anthony have I missed something as you mention Parkside as a rail terminal. I don't see it in the plan above and I thought it was a dead duck as the company proposing it pulled out. Bill Bradbury

11:22am Mon 19 Nov 12

Sankey says...

I read the core strategy lots nice pictures of smiling people and green fields. However I agree with previous posters no account taken in the plan of the macro economic conditions likely over the next 15 years. All the indications are for sluggish growth in one of our biggest markets (Europe) and most of the western governments mired in huge debt. St Helens plan seems to assume a boom period as we had in the largesse of the labour era. Whoever is in power it seems hard to imagine that occurring. The plan does nor recognise the likely challenges it will face which will be money (both public and private) will be in short supply. For me it is an unrealistic paper exercise (because the council are required to by law) and no plan in the world ever achieved results its people that deliver growth and innovation not a plan in the files of the council.

Myself and others have said many times we have the same people in situ for decades and what has been achieved so far and what will change going forward?
I read the core strategy lots nice pictures of smiling people and green fields. However I agree with previous posters no account taken in the plan of the macro economic conditions likely over the next 15 years. All the indications are for sluggish growth in one of our biggest markets (Europe) and most of the western governments mired in huge debt. St Helens plan seems to assume a boom period as we had in the largesse of the labour era. Whoever is in power it seems hard to imagine that occurring. The plan does nor recognise the likely challenges it will face which will be money (both public and private) will be in short supply. For me it is an unrealistic paper exercise (because the council are required to by law) and no plan in the world ever achieved results its people that deliver growth and innovation not a plan in the files of the council. Myself and others have said many times we have the same people in situ for decades and what has been achieved so far and what will change going forward? Sankey

11:33am Mon 19 Nov 12

Sankey says...

Bill Bradbury wrote:
Anthony have I missed something as you mention Parkside as a rail terminal. I don't see it in the plan above and I thought it was a dead duck as the company proposing it pulled out.
Bill its identified as a potential future site in the core strategy thats all. The developer did pull out recently (2010) as it was not viable. That position may change at some point in the next 15 years or it may not. Who knows? Again this fills up a lot of pages in the plan and helps to tick some boxes. Call me a cynic! In the meantime St Helens has one of the largest unemplyment in the country whats happening here and now?
[quote][p][bold]Bill Bradbury[/bold] wrote: Anthony have I missed something as you mention Parkside as a rail terminal. I don't see it in the plan above and I thought it was a dead duck as the company proposing it pulled out.[/p][/quote]Bill its identified as a potential future site in the core strategy thats all. The developer did pull out recently (2010) as it was not viable. That position may change at some point in the next 15 years or it may not. Who knows? Again this fills up a lot of pages in the plan and helps to tick some boxes. Call me a cynic! In the meantime St Helens has one of the largest unemplyment in the country whats happening here and now? Sankey

1:17pm Mon 19 Nov 12

jumper says...

Have you look at the other strategies
as well must be for the moon.
Have you look at the other strategies as well must be for the moon. jumper

3:40pm Mon 19 Nov 12

anthonywilson says...

Bill Bradbury wrote:
Anthony have I missed something as you mention Parkside as a rail terminal. I don't see it in the plan above and I thought it was a dead duck as the company proposing it pulled out.
Bill, As Sankey has also stated the intention to develop Parkside as a rail frieght terminal remains within the new Core Strategy.

Whilst all the wrangling about Parkside was going on, Stobart opened a rail freight depot in Widnes next to the West Coast main line, so again unless there is a huge turn up in the economy there will now be less of a need for another one at Parkside.
[quote][p][bold]Bill Bradbury[/bold] wrote: Anthony have I missed something as you mention Parkside as a rail terminal. I don't see it in the plan above and I thought it was a dead duck as the company proposing it pulled out.[/p][/quote]Bill, As Sankey has also stated the intention to develop Parkside as a rail frieght terminal remains within the new Core Strategy. Whilst all the wrangling about Parkside was going on, Stobart opened a rail freight depot in Widnes next to the West Coast main line, so again unless there is a huge turn up in the economy there will now be less of a need for another one at Parkside. anthonywilson

6:15pm Mon 19 Nov 12

frankly says...

The Council can produce all the plans it likes in the world but there isn't the money to implement much of it
....................
....................
..............

Anthony, i think their was money when the liverpool rd/westfield st plan was muted..they knocked all the flats down years ago, and have done nothing since
The Council can produce all the plans it likes in the world but there isn't the money to implement much of it .................... .................... .............. Anthony, i think their was money when the liverpool rd/westfield st plan was muted..they knocked all the flats down years ago, and have done nothing since frankly

8:48pm Mon 19 Nov 12

anthonywilson says...

frankly wrote:
The Council can produce all the plans it likes in the world but there isn't the money to implement much of it
....................

....................

..............

Anthony, i think their was money when the liverpool rd/westfield st plan was muted..they knocked all the flats down years ago, and have done nothing since
There certainly was more money around back then and something purposeful should have been done regarding the St Thomas Square site. At the very least this area should have been tidied up as it remains a complete eyesore as does the Sacred Heart Church site and former school/nursery behind it. Greenbank is sadly a forgotten area that the civic leaders of our town don't seem to care much about.
[quote][p][bold]frankly[/bold] wrote: The Council can produce all the plans it likes in the world but there isn't the money to implement much of it .................... .................... .............. Anthony, i think their was money when the liverpool rd/westfield st plan was muted..they knocked all the flats down years ago, and have done nothing since[/p][/quote]There certainly was more money around back then and something purposeful should have been done regarding the St Thomas Square site. At the very least this area should have been tidied up as it remains a complete eyesore as does the Sacred Heart Church site and former school/nursery behind it. Greenbank is sadly a forgotten area that the civic leaders of our town don't seem to care much about. anthonywilson

9:33pm Mon 19 Nov 12

anthonywilson says...

http://www.bbc.co.uk
/news/uk-england-lon
don-20357816

If London can't attract new investors because of the current financial climate then there is little hope for the rest of us regardless of how good or not a Liocal Authorities Core Strategy might be.
http://www.bbc.co.uk /news/uk-england-lon don-20357816 If London can't attract new investors because of the current financial climate then there is little hope for the rest of us regardless of how good or not a Liocal Authorities Core Strategy might be. anthonywilson

10:37am Tue 20 Nov 12

Bill Bradbury says...

My view on Parkside was well reported in the past, (in favour) but I am not going to set that hare running. Anthony and Sankey make the relevant points.Who knows, once the line is electrified from the Docks it may be resurrected but there would have to be major altrerations to the M6.

As to development we still have empty units on the Linkway for some years and we will see how long the new units in College St. remain empty. "Additional land for employment opportunities"? We will see.

To build the stated number of houses we are not told the starting date for the year-this year next year, sometime, never? The 570 target we will see in a years time,-hopefully.

We would be interested in what the Council defines as "Inappropriate uses in the town centre." and "plans that are not compatible with our Borough"

As to protecting the schools, as this Council is hell-bent on pushing through Tory Gove's educational ideas, such as Performance Management, his latest idea being that if the next Prinary school fails it will be Privatised by becoming an Academy, I will be interested how this will be resisted. To my knowledge, apart from the PFI fiasco at Rainford High, having to be paid from the budgets of all the other High schools, there is only Government money for one new school and we await to see whether the school building is fit for purpose.

There is nothing wrong in having a plan but we look forward to the evidence that the plan is to be successful, especially when Local Government budgets are continuing to be cut and savings having to be made.
My view on Parkside was well reported in the past, (in favour) but I am not going to set that hare running. Anthony and Sankey make the relevant points.Who knows, once the line is electrified from the Docks it may be resurrected but there would have to be major altrerations to the M6. As to development we still have empty units on the Linkway for some years and we will see how long the new units in College St. remain empty. "Additional land for employment opportunities"? We will see. To build the stated number of houses we are not told the starting date for the year-this year next year, sometime, never? The 570 target we will see in a years time,-hopefully. We would be interested in what the Council defines as "Inappropriate uses in the town centre." and "plans that are not compatible with our Borough" As to protecting the schools, as this Council is hell-bent on pushing through Tory Gove's educational ideas, such as Performance Management, his latest idea being that if the next Prinary school fails it will be Privatised by becoming an Academy, I will be interested how this will be resisted. To my knowledge, apart from the PFI fiasco at Rainford High, having to be paid from the budgets of all the other High schools, there is only Government money for one new school and we await to see whether the school building is fit for purpose. There is nothing wrong in having a plan but we look forward to the evidence that the plan is to be successful, especially when Local Government budgets are continuing to be cut and savings having to be made. Bill Bradbury

9:08am Wed 21 Nov 12

Bill Bradbury says...

Nobody has challenged 15 years? Why do we have to wait so long. By then most of us will be pushing up daisies so not much use to us!
Nobody has challenged 15 years? Why do we have to wait so long. By then most of us will be pushing up daisies so not much use to us! Bill Bradbury

10:14am Wed 21 Nov 12

Sankey says...

Bill Bradbury wrote:
Nobody has challenged 15 years? Why do we have to wait so long. By then most of us will be pushing up daisies so not much use to us!
Bill all councils have to prepare a 15 year plan to central government its not a seperate St Helens initiative. Its not operational just an aspirational framework in other words a vision. It also serves as a first step of planning e.g does it fit with the plan? I would not get too worked up.
[quote][p][bold]Bill Bradbury[/bold] wrote: Nobody has challenged 15 years? Why do we have to wait so long. By then most of us will be pushing up daisies so not much use to us![/p][/quote]Bill all councils have to prepare a 15 year plan to central government its not a seperate St Helens initiative. Its not operational just an aspirational framework in other words a vision. It also serves as a first step of planning e.g does it fit with the plan? I would not get too worked up. Sankey

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