19 Nov 2021
The Parkside development has been hailed as a project that will bring ‘significant economic benefit’ by Government.
In his response approving the plans Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, agreed with the inspectors that the first phase of the regeneration of the former colliery site in Newton-le-Willows would help deliver great benefits not just for the borough but the entire region.
The announcement also saw approval of the Parkside Link Road, which will be pivotal in unlocking the sites full potential for future development and help to support the local environment.
In the letter outlining the decision it said: “The Secretary of State agrees that regeneration benefits would include bringing back a vacant, former industrial legacy site suffering from a history of antisocial behaviour back into active use, creating a significant number of jobs and economic benefits for the local community in the process. He further agrees that these benefits must carry additional weight given the proximity of the site to areas which suffer from high levels of economic deprivation.”
The Secretary also recognised the site was well connected and in a good location to support the development as the inspectors noted that Parkside was in a ‘sweet spot’ between Manchester and Liverpool.
The first phase will cover a 93,000 square metre site, bringing almost 500 jobs during the construction and the potential of more than 1,300 new jobs offering a variety of skills in the completed buildings.
In the Inspector’s comments they also recognised Parkside will deliver quality jobs for the borough.
They said: “Suggestions that jobs in logistics are low-paid are contradicted by figures from the Office of National Statistics which indicate that salaries in the logistics sector are above the national average.”
There was also a recognition that there would be a wider benefit for the economy: “There would also be benefits to existing businesses in the locality through additional household expenditure in the local area and a potential ‘multiplier effect’ with opportunities for small-medium sized enterprises and other smaller operations to become part of a supply chain for future occupiers.”
Councillor Richard McCauley, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning, said: “These comments from the Secretary and Inspector show that the regional significance of Parkside has been well demonstrated and they recognise the truly transformational opportunity it presents to provide a huge boost to our economy, change lives by creating quality jobs and show St Helens Borough is an ideal place for people to do business.”