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Plans for Earlestown and St Helens town centre transformation prepared

The transformation of Earlestown and St Helens town centres has reached a huge milestone with plans being submitted which, if approved, will allow work to start.

Town centre masterplan CGI pic stitch

Article date: 23 March 2022

St Helens Borough Council and its partner the English Cities Fund (ECF) have prepared planning applications for the first phases of the Earlestown and St Helens Town Centre Masterplan Development Frameworks. The planning applications will be available to view online from next week.

In St Helens town centre the plans incorporate both demolition and outline planning consent for new buildings including the size and type of buildings that the transformation might take. This is to allow for future flexibility in further phases depending on market conditions. This plan also covers the entire area of the town centre which was subject to the public consultation held in November last year. 

The ECF partnership is now also looking to work on a detailed design for Phase One which will focus on delivering high grade office space, a hotel, new market hall, town centre living including townhouses and apartments, retail space and redeveloping public spaces. 

Earlestown's application is also an outline application which will focus on the transformation of the central market square with a new market hall canopy, together with wider public realm improvements to key high streets. 

Heralding the move Councillor David Baines, Leader of St Helens Borough Council, said: "This is the next step in our once-in-a-generation journey to transform Earlestown and St Helens town centres. We're delighted that, thanks to the partnership with ECF, we are moving at pace to deliver two exceptional plans for our borough that we know, thanks to residents and business' feedback, are resoundingly supported. We all know that the way people use town centres has changed and these plans will help us to deliver sustainable centres that will support the needs of visitors and businesses while also supporting a variety of our key council priorities. 

"The planning submission, along with our recent purchase of the Hardshaw Centre, shows that as a council we are not just talking about what we would like to happen, we are doing our all to deliver the change that our borough deserves. Once the masterplan was approved we always said the real hard work starts now to make it become a reality and I hope people recognise that we are as keen as they are to see physical change happen. The planning application process is the next step we have to take to make that a reality and I'm delighted that as a council we are working to deliver every step as quickly as we can for our residents." 

Leon Guyett, Development Director at ECF, added: "We're gaining real momentum here, as both the council and ECF move at pace to deliver the generational vision for both St Helens and Earlestown and turn it into reality.

"With ECF partners recommitting to the joint venture until December 2036, means we're able to continue with our mission to taking our long-term, holistic approach to creating inspiring places in key levelling up areas that deliver real, positive benefits to communities. Our work in partnership with St Helens Council will be a shining example of this and we're excited for a bright future."

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Last modified on 12 April 2022