Controversial New Brighton scheme faces more objections DEVELOPERS behind the £60m revamp of a Wirral seaside town will face more objections as they attempt to clear the final hurdle before work can start.
Neptune Developments are awaiting detailed planning permission for the second phase of their ambitious New Brighton scheme, following completion of the first phase – the Floral Pavilion Theatre last year.
But they have again angered local protesters after submitting an application to vary a key condition of the permission they already have.
The entire scheme was redrawn when a public inquiry ruled against it in 2006 following a massive campaign opposing Neptune’s plans.
Compromise was later reached, and as part of its assurances the company agreed to a condition that one of the most controversial aspects of the scheme – a supermarket on the seafront – would be built after the rest of the project was substantially completed.
The entire scheme will see a revamp of New Brighton’s marine lake, a hotel, cinema, restaurants and bars as well as a lido and fitness centre and model boating lake.
However, the Wellington Road Conservation Advisory Committee (WRCAC) has now raised concerns about the application by Neptune to bring forward building work on the Morrisons supermarket.
It said: “Neptune’s application to remove conditions precluding the developer from proceeding to construct a supermarket until leisure facilities are completed raises substantive issues.”
WRCAC has also made formal objections to the detailed planning application, particularly highlighting the “impact, height, scale and mass of the proposed health/fitness centre will have on the existing free open air facilities which it would replace”.
A spokeswoman for WRCAC described the fitness centre as “spurious” and said it had “more to do with maximising the return to the developer’s profits than providing a realistic, sustainable leisure facility”.
She said: “Now, the requirement to build this block delays the overall re-development of the former bathing pool site.”
But Rob Mason, Neptune’s development director, pointed to the success of the new Floral Pavilion Theatre and Conference Centre which he said “confirmed our commitment to delivery and to quality”.
Mr Mason said they aimed to begin work on the rest of the scheme in late autumn and complete the new promenade and model boating lake within eight months of the start.
He said: “The new supermarket will be completed next, 12 months after the start on site, ready for fit-out by the operator, Morrisons.
“The new hotel, cinema and a number of the leisure buildings will be completed three months later, again ready for fit-out by the operators.
“The final elements, the rest of the leisure buildings and the Lido will be completed two to three months later, around 18 months after the start on site. The order of the programme means we are able to deliver all the public realm areas first and then we are completing elements of the scheme to meet the needs of the end users.
“We believe everything will be completed in 2011, making it an extremely significant and exciting year for New Brighton.” THE WIRRAL NEWS