PLANS to build 28 houses and two apartment blocks on a site previously earmarked for a nursing home in St Helens have been approved.

St Helens Council’s planning committee green-lit plans for the development of 50 homes on the former Caledonia Peugeot garage and Remploy site adjacent to Knowsley Road.

The application outlined changes to the unfinished Liberty Place housing development, which stalled in 2008 following the start of the Great Recession.

The original plans, which were submitted by David Dickie, earmarked one quarter of the 1.4hm brownfield site for a three storey 100-bed nursing home with the rest for residential homes.

Of the three flat blocks that were originally approved, two have been completed, with the third currently under construction. Nineteen houses have been built.

The new proposal is to build 28 houses and two flat blocks each with 11 units (22) on the site previously earmarked for the nursing home.

Liberty Place resident Janet Grayson, told councillors that residents on the development have a number concerns, and have previously raised these in meetings and in writing.

She said: “The main concern is that the footprint and infrastructure of the site is too small to accommodate the number of dwellings in the planning application.

“Allocation for parking is insufficient for proposed number of dwellings.”

Carl Grannell, representing John McCall Architects, said the development has finally become “viable” again following the economic crash that halted the scheme.

He said: “Construction will hopefully put an end to the years on uncertainty, which some of the neighbours have had to live with.

“And it should be a positive for the borough of St Helens as well, that this sustainable, centrally-located brownfield site can finally be developed and completed.”

Cllr Martin Bond, ward member for Haydock, said he had "concerns" about parking issues around Knowsley Road.

He said: “Parking is an issue all along Knowsley Road as a consequence of the large Vauxhall garage as well.

“If this does pass I would want Highways to look at this whole stretch of road right the way from Dunriding Lane down to Boundary Road, to look at what’s happening there because I know that it’s a problem there for various reasons.”

The overall development built and proposed will have a total of 115 units in a mix of flats and houses. The houses will comprise of affordable and shared ownership housing.

Following consultations, the lead local flood authority objected due to issues with the plan. The council also received eight written objections from residents.

Councillors approved the application subject to various conditions.