We have just submitted a major planning application for the creation of a 1million sq ft employment park at Symmetry Park in Knowsley, capable of creating 1,035 direct temporary jobs during construction and approximately 1,000 additional jobs within the Liverpool City Region. The proposed scheme is anticipated to generate approximately £51million of net additional GVA per annum. The planning application for the development of the 65-acre country park is due to be submitted before the end of the month.
The planning application was submitted together with a Statement of Community Involvement (SCI), which sets out a summary of the pre-application consultation process that has now concluded and which identified and responded to key themes and issues raised.
A wide variety of stakeholders were involved with the pre-application process including; immediate and local residents and community groups, local businesses, The British Horse Society, Cronton Parish Council, Whiston Town Council, Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council, Members of Parliament, Liverpool City Region and statutory stakeholders.
The consultation was publicised via local media and social media, local press advertising and a notice issued to 2,500 residences and businesses in the area. The strategy was digitally led but also included traditional means of consultation such as information leaflets, limited face-to-face meetings, a project telephone line and Freepost address to enable those without access to technology to engage with the project team and comment on the plans.
Speaking about the planning application Matt Claxton, planning director at Tritax Symmetry, commented: “We are pleased to have submitted the planning application for this landmark employment and country park scheme.
“The pandemic has had a significant impact on the national economy and bringing forward this new site will create much-needed employment opportunities and attract inward investment to this area of the North West, at a time when the economy needs it most.”
Dominic Page, senior associate at Gerald Eve, which is advising Tritax Symmetry on the planning application, commented: “We are very grateful to all those who took part in the consultation and for their comments which will help shape our plans for the site. Due to the Covid restrictions we worked in close collaboration with Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council (KMBC) to develop a wide-reaching consultation programme to ensure that as many people as possible could access and comment on the plans through numerous different channels.
“Tritax Symmetry has a long-term commitment to the communities in which it develops, and the planning application has been structured in such a way as to enable the development’s benefits to be realised at the earliest opportunity. Our project team will continue to engage and maintain dialogue with relevant stakeholders and members of the local community throughout the planning process.”
Speaking about the employment site and the country park, Euan Hall, Chief Executive at the Land Trust continued: “Unlocking this disused land has provided us with a once in a lifetime opportunity to bring forward a country park of this scale and we are extremely pleased with the public response so far. With planning now submitted for the employment site, we are working on the application for the country park, which will be submitted by the end of the month.”
The project team includes UMC Architects, Gerald Eve (planning), Tier Consulting, The Environmental Partnership (TEP) and Tyler Grange.
Located east of Junction 6 of the M62, the sites form part of the Halsnead Garden Village Sustainable Urban Extension (HSUE) which represents part of the wider vision for the Halsnead Garden Village.
The consultation website can be viewed here: www.symmetryparkmerseyside.co.uk