ST. MODWEN has secured planning permission from Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council for the redevelopment of Kirkby Town Centre.
Knowsley Council’s planning committee voted unanimously in favour of the plans which will bring a Morrison’s supermarket to anchor the new retail scheme.
The green light for the plans marks a significant milestone in St. Modwen’s ambitions to redevelop Kirkby Town Centre. After purchasing the town centre in November 2015, St. Modwen signed a development agreement with Knowsley Council to bring forward their plans.
The scheme includes the Morrison’s supermarket and around 76,000 sq ft of new shops, improved pedestrian links, car parking, new public realm and landscaping. The redevelopment will complement, enhance and integrate with the existing town centre shops and facilities.
Paul Batho, Projects Director for St. Modwen, said: “We are thrilled that Knowsley Council’s planning committee has given the go ahead for our plans for Kirkby, this reflects the overwhelming community support we have had for the scheme. The plans will enhance the retail offer for residents of Kirkby and bring a long-awaited supermarket to the town.
“The regeneration will breathe new life into this previously underutilised part of the town centre and enhance Kirkby. As well as providing space for new retailers the development will provide jobs and economic growth in the town centre.
“We will continue to work with the council to ensure that benefits such as training and employment from the construction are directed towards the local community.
“With such interest in the scheme from residents we look forward to making these plans reality and moving on to the next stage of the redevelopment.”
Knowsley Council’s Regeneration and Economic Development Cabinet Member, Cllr Graham Morgan, said: “I’m delighted that planning permission is now in place to allow this major regeneration programme to move a big step closer.
“St. Modwen’s exciting plans will build on the significant improvements the council and our partners have already delivered in the town centre and surrounding areas. The town has benefitted from over £100m of public sector investment in recent years and it’s great to see that the private sector is now getting on board.
“It is fantastic news that St. Modwen can now move ahead with the much-anticipated retail development, which will raise Kirkby’s profile as a high-quality shopping destination which people choose to visit.”
Work is currently underway to demolish 150,000 sq ft of derelict buildings. The cleared site will make way for the new Morrisons, shop units and pedestrian walkways that will link the existing town centre with the new development and additional car parking.
Morrisons Development Executive, James Smith said: “The planning committee’s approval of the application is good news for shoppers and the future of Kirkby town centre.
“We are pleased that the plans have taken a step forwards and we can move closer to delivering a new store and jobs for the local community.”
Since purchasing the town centre, St. Modwen has carried out significant improvement work to Kirkby. These improvements have been well received by shoppers and have given confidence in the delivery of the proposed scheme.
Now the planning application has been approved, construction work aims to commence next year with completion scheduled for 2019.