NEW images (above) have been released to show how two historic Grade II listed buildings could look if saved from destruction and redeveloped.

As the Star previously reported, Oak Tree Developments has submitted a planning application to build 23 new homes on the site off the A49 and have pledged to restore the manor house and barn, delivering a further six apartments and four houses on the site just off the A49.

A petition asking local residents to support the planning application and save the buildings has been gaining growing momentum, with in excess of 200 people having signed ahead of a scheduled planning committee meeting to discuss the plans which is set for June 12.

St Helens Star:

The barn

One signatory said: “We must not allow these fantastic buildings to fall further into disrepair. SHMBC (St Helens Council) should allow restoration to be completed.

"The manor house and barn have deteriorated significantly in the last two decades and now is the time to save them.

"The barn is Grade II listed and has links to the Battle of Winwick Pass. It has stood since the late 1500s. If nothing is done soon, we will lose these important buildings forever and deprive coming generations of their heritage.”

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Meanwhile, the planning application has attracted letters of objection, including on behalf of Parkside Regeneration LLP.

Oaktree managing director David Lloyd said: “We have worked closely with the previous landowner to try and preserve these fabulous historic buildings while St Helens Council makes its mind up about whether the neighbouring freight terminal is going ahead.

"Over a decade later this still shows no sign of emerging and we have now spent almost £100,000 on scaffolding to shore up these two remaining buildings in the hope that we can get permission for the enabling development which will fund their redevelopment.”

St Helens Star:

Addressing some of the questions raised by residents David added: “The development of the 23 homes on site has been modelled to provide enough funding to enable the development of the barn and manor house.

"There simply is no financial model open to us which will also enable us to deliver affordable homes, it has to be one or the other as the cost of saving the buildings is considerable.

“There are no additional funds available from any public bodies and this really is the last chance for these building to have any kind of future.

"If planning is not granted we will sadly have to remove the scaffolding as we can’t continue shouldering this on-going cost indefinitely.”

St Helens Star:

Commenting on the future use of the two buildings he said: “The barn and manor house will become a key feature of the Newton Park Drive development, providing ten high quality apartments and houses to compliment the 23 houses which we hope to build. The only way we, as a private company, can retain the buildings is to incorporate them into the development and give them a bright new future as residential dwellings for local people.”

“We are not aware of sufficient subsidy being available from either St Helens Council, Historic England or any other source. The buildings are in need of substantial investment, via this enabling development, to secure their future. There is no realistic alternative solution.”

The buildings are described by Historic England as being “not only of local significance but of national importance.”

The facades of both buildings will be retained as will the architectural heritage and personality of each building. The submitted plans show that the materials used will be as close as possible to the originals and that wherever possible existing materials will be reused.

The developer also plans an ecological pond for the site as well as extensive landscaping.

St Helens Star:

The proposed development with an eco pond

The developers will also be attending a meeting of the Newton and Earlestown Community Group at the Pied Bull from 7pm on 6th June to address any further questions from local people.

The planning application number is P/2019/0192/FUL and can be viewed on the council website.

Residents can submit letters to with the planning ID number.