A planning application is being submitted today (16 January) for the first phase of Parkside Colliery’s regeneration.
The inaugural stage of the transformation of the closed Newton-le-Willows coal mine could provide more than 1,300 jobs as 93,000 sq m of new employment space is proposed.
Parkside Regeneration, a joint venture between Lantree and St Helens Council, is behind the project and says it has made positive changes to original plans following an extensive public consultation exercise last year.
John Downes, group managing director of Langtree and chairman of Parkside Regeneration, says: “We are keen to ensure that our investment benefits the local community as much as possible and have put in place arrangements with the Northern Logistics Academy and St Helens Chamber of Commerce to maximise the number of training opportunities for local people and to ensure robust engagement with a local supply chain.”
A new link road into the site from junction 22 of the MC has also been carried forward by St Helens Council after being suggested by the public, with Downes adding: “We are very supportive of the proposals for the new link road as it will take pressure off Winwick and the A49 and address air pollution and congestion throughout the area.
“During the council’s consultation on its plans our professional team has made sure that the council is fully aware of how the proposed new road can best contribute to the wider Parkside Regeneration proposals and address any local community issues.”
It is also anticipated that the new development, when fully operational, could generate £80 million a year in economic activity and £2.2m a year in business rates to St Helens Council.
Councillor Barrie Grunewald, the local authority’s leader, says: “The submission of a planning application is a key milestone in the joint venture’s ambitions for Parkside. It will show us the nature and scale of the opportunity before us to deal with long-term, generational unemployment in St Helens and bring a redundant, brownfield site back in to productive use.”
The planning application is expected to be ruled upon in the summer following the council’s own consultation on the proposals.