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#1084788 20th Sep 2023 11:49am
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I'm sure you must have heard of this plan by now.

The Hind Street Urban Village development will bring in over £300m of public and private investment into Birkenhead with 1600 new homes behind Central station on the old gasworks site.
The development is in partnership with Ion Developments and there will be / is a public consultation.
Who are Ion developments you ask? That's the new name for Neptune Developments who were behind the New Brighton developments.

I asked Bing's AI search engine to search for me - here is what it came back with -

"The exact amount of money that Wirral Council gave to Neptune Developments is not clear from the available sources. However, I can provide some information based on the web search results:

In 2009, the Council agreed to provide a loan of £4.3 million to Neptune Developments to help fund the second phase of the New Brighton development1.
In 2013, the Council entered into a preferred development agreement with Neptune Developments to work on a comprehensive redevelopment proposal for Birkenhead Town Centre2.
In 2010, the Council approved a grant of £1.5 million to Neptune Developments for the Floral Pavilion Theatre and Conference Centre in New Brighton3.
These are some of the examples of the funding that Wirral Council provided to Neptune Developments for their projects in the borough. However, there may be other sources of funding that are not publicly available or disclosed. Therefore, I cannot give you a definitive answer to your question. I hope this information is helpful to you. ?
"

Article in the Liverpool Echo 8th May 2013 - https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/planning-blows-make-work-harder-3515259

"LAST week's decision by a government inspector to reject Neptune Development's plan to redevelop New Brighton's waterfront was a big blow for the company.
It was Neptune's second major setback in recent years, coming almost two years to the day since Liverpool City Council pulled the plug on another major project involving the firm.
Co-owned by Liverpool-born construction entrepreneur Peter Hynd and former Amey executive Richard Douglas, the property group had the rug pulled from under its feet in summer 2004 when the #300m Fourth Grace scheme was scrapped. Neptune had been due to build architect Will Alsop's controversial Cloud design at the Pier Head.
The New Brighton decision was a surprise to many observers as Neptune's proposals had the backing of Wirral Borough Council and statutory heritage body English Heritage, which had been consulted and had written to the inspector in support of the project.
Coping with setbacks is nothing new to Neptune. The Cloud and New Brighton are not the only troubles to have plagued Mr Hynd and his businesses in the past.
"

Part of the proposals would include removing the two remaining flyovers and seemingly pedestrianise the area outside Central Station and other roads leading to the tunnel. Artists impressions show pedestrians and cyclists walking down what I presume is Green Lane. With the low bridge, you can't get a bus down there or if it's Waterloo Place then turning left is 'no pedestrians' area so they must be going to the Rock Retail Park, Green Lane filling staton or Cammel Lairds. How you get from Borough Road to the Tunnel by any vehicle, including bus, remains unexplained

Quote from Liverpool World "Standing outside Birkenhead Central station, Steve Parry, the managing director of Ion Developments, said: “If you look at this and where we are standing now, it cuts off the station from the town centre. The main reason (for getting rid of the flyovers) is connecting this area to the town centre. It will mirror what it was originally."

Originally we had congestion, lots of it. Obviously todays planners were not around in the 60's, otherwise they would have been aware of the congestion that the town suffered due to the merging of the local traffic and the Tunnel traffic. The booklet that was produced by Birkenhead Corporation at the time explains all this, and it can be found on this WikiWirral site. As intended, the flyovers overcame most of those problems and while traffic patterns have changed since then with the building of the Wallasey Tunnel and M53 all manor of other reasons, that still leaves a large ammount of traffic in town wanting to cross the river. Air and noise polution didn't seem to get mentioned at the time, but a flyover seems certainly seems to reduce congestion and therefore air polution. Additionally, they also seperate vehicles and more at risk road users.


Now, if there was a repositioning af a major shopping centre or the building of new offices then there would be a greater shift to surface traffic, demanding a greater need for seperation of the two. But that's just what has happened and thus provides a greater requirement to seperate the two. Also, the new tolls on the Runcorn-Widnes bridges will alter the traffic flow. The trade-off for Liverpool bound commuters between miles and tolls getting to work used to be which side of Bromborough you were travelling from. This will now move closer to Birkenhead, increasing Tunnel traffic.

Remember the Conway Street flyover? OK, it wasn't that pretty and traffic flow from the west of town did reduce with the opening of the Wallasey tunnel in 1971, but the reason given for its demolition was that it segregated the communities on the north and south sides of the road. To me, that seems a strange thing to say, given that the terraced houses in the streets between Conway Street and Cleveland Street had already been cleared. Those communities have gone and it will stay that way while the land lies bare. That land of course, only ever had houses on it.

The same can't be said about the previous life of the land from Central Station, the gas works, down Hind Street and Waterloo Place. What lies beneath is a worry. Apart from hazardous substances in the soil, this is the old riverbed of the Rubicon that ran down Happy Valley, now better known as Borough Road. The area of the old gasworks was once a lagoon leading to Tranmere Pool, the muddy inlet from the banks of the River Mersey. Next ti it, Lairds bought their land there very cheaply as nobody wanted to live or build on it. Current thinking is that very deep piles may be needed in places to give good foundations to build on. Also, there have been tales of a Roman era bridge crossing the water here. If so, that's going to need a archiologcal dig which takes time and money.

So far, I've not read about affordable or sustainable housing. Out of choice I don't know who would want eigh trains an hour passing their house, or the noise of a shipyard and light industry in their backyard, never mind the passing of traffic from two major roads, if they still exsist. Remember the Priory Wharf development of luxury flats with a great view over the river, but hard to sell and the second block never got built, so the land stands empty with potential nasties in the subsoil, if I remember correctly.

Where will future light industry build and what will happen to the former housing land between Conway and Cleveland Streets?

Time and money is one thing this Council don't have as it is going bankrupt and could be in special measures, just like Birmingham has this week.

The public consultation closed to new contributions on Tuesday 13 June and is now under review. I missed that somehow, probably looking into the 20mph roads instead.

Despite saying " We asked, You said, We did", the Councils have no legal obligation to act on our comments, just listen to them.

Be careful of what you wish for.

The attached 'News' article from 1972 refers to the congestion on Borough Road mid-morning, prior to the dual carriage being built. Two lanes in each direction until you make one a bus lane!

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BoroughRd Nov72.jpg
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Wirral is already effectively under special measures, the Government has given the Council some direct orders they must obey (like disposing of certain assets and closing certain facilities). The only saving grace is that we are not formally in special measures which despite being to create financial stability actually costs a lot of money because the Council then have to pay the Government consultants which can run into millions.

This ridiculous case of building houses and not building jobs is totally flawed. It will come back to bite us as we become more and more a housing suburb for Liverpool, Cheshire and Manchester. There are plans for Councils to be directly funded from business rates, if our businesses are in Liverpool we will lose out on funding and Liverpool gains.

Successive Governments are determined to bring us back to a two-tier society, the Country is getting richer, the Councils are getting poorer, society is going backwards. The Government are destroying everything they run ...

Schools now begging parents for substantial amounts of money just for normal running of the schools.
Water shortages and sewage being dumped
Energy shortages
Defence is highly dependent on the USA, they can veto the use of equipment we have bought from them.
NHS in a total mess with a huge backlog
Policing is a joke
Finance is in an uncontrolled mess
Crime is getting more serious
Councils going bust despite being under strict controls and rules of Government.
Transport in a mess, roads, trains, busses etc
Population on the rise again which means a lot of schools, hospitals etc that were destroyed and land sold off will need rebuilding.
Almost every Government Department failing to meet their own targets
Criminality and lies in Government is accepted
Poverty at an unacceptable level
Critical reserves have been discarded (medical, military, food etc)
People still working far more hours than is necessary

And have you noticed policies that increase prices enormously, electric cars are double the price of combustion engined cars, heating systems that cost three times as much as gas boilers, and take up six times the amount of space.

We are facing a silent civil war and Joe Bloggs is losing rapidly.


We don't do charity in Germany, we pay taxes. Charity is a failure of governments' responsibilities - Henning Wehn

https://ddue.uk

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