THE plans to create a 'new village' with the creation of around 1,000 homes at Eccleston Park have been submitted by a developer.

Mulbury Homes are behind the project which aims to see the creation of a new neighbourhood in the heart of Eccleston Park with new homes, accommodation for the over 55s, a local shop, a day care nursery, health benefits and improvements to the road infrastructure.

The planning application is for the construction of 186 homes to the east of the site adjoining Rainhill Road in partnership with a housing developer, as well as outline approval for a 646 homes and a further 168 units of retirement homes (77 in number) and housing accommodation at the Portico Lane access, a convenience store, a nursery and healthcare provision.

There will also be a series of improvements to the surrounding road network to improve highway performance in the area.

The developer says the project will boost the region’s economy by creating up to 4,000 jobs and apprentice opportunities during construction.

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The development is on the site of a former golf course, land that was historically owned by the National Health Service. Discussions are being held with the Department of Health and Social Care around reinvestment of a proportion of any land value which could be released from the development being utilised on local healthcare projects.

Mulbury says could see a contribution toward delivery of one or more health care initiatives within St Helens, providing a significant and direct community benefit. Further details will be confirmed in due course.

The developers say the submitted application follows a summer-long consultation with the local community where residents, councillors and business owners shared their thoughts on the plans and helped shape the final application.

St Helens Star:

A graphic of the overall plans

Andrew Brown, director at Mulbury, said: “We are delighted to be at the stage of being able to submit our vision and plans for Eccleston Park Village and this is a big step forward for the project and follows months of hard work. We’ve had a great response from the local community, and there’s genuine excitement about how the proposals could transform lives in the area.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a new neighbourhood of homes to accommodate families, the over 55s, and people needing affordable houses. All of this will be supported by improvements to the road network and, we hope, improvements to local healthcare services.”

The project has been met with opposition, with ward councillors expressing strong objections to the proposed loss of green belt land for the development.

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Cllr Teresa Sims said: “My Eccleston Ward colleagues, Michael Haw, Geoffrey Pearl and I strongly object to the proposals to develop the Eccleston Park Golf Course site. The land in question sits entirely within the Green Belt and therefore any plans to develop the site would constitute inappropriate development, according to St Helens Council's own adopted Local Plan.

“It is our view that a brownfield first approach must be fully adopted and that there should be no development on any Green Belt land until every available brownfield site has been identified and built upon.

"We understand that new development needs to take place. That said, this should be done in a way which is sensitive to both the environment and the wishes of the local community, and where the infrastructure exists to support such developments.

Our local area has provided more than its fair share of new housing in recent years, the most recent example being the 262-home development on the former Triplex site.

This has placed local infrastructure and other key services under immense strain. The idea that we, as a local community can accommodate the level of development being proposed on the Eccleston Park Golf site is simply not acceptable.

The Liberal Democrat group leader added: “The road network surrounding the site is already grid-locked, and the introduction of hundreds if not thousands of extra vehicles onto Rainhill Road and Portico Lane would be highly irresponsible and dangerous for vehicle users and pedestrians. Many parents also struggle to secure a school place for their children, and we have serious concerns about the effect that the plans would have for our local area in terms of education.

“Consideration must also be given to the impact on the local environment. The Eccleston Park Golf Course site is the ‘Green Lung’ for our local area and should be protected and enhanced. St Helens also has one of the highest rates of respiratory diseases in the country and development of the site would have a detrimental impact on Eccleston Park and surrounding areas. These speculative plans constitute inappropriate development, are not sustainable and should be refused outright at planning committee.

"Labour-controlled St Helens Council proclaims to be a brownfield first local authority when it comes to development. This planning application will be a true test of that statement. I would urge all residents to make their representations to this planning application consultation, as this is your opportunity to have your say on the plans".