£85m ‘green village’ plan will create 800 jobs and 356 homes in city
Jul 1 2008 by David Bartlett, Liverpool Daily Post
A NEW £85m eco-friendly housing development, creat-ing 800 jobs, is set to be built on an eyesore site on the edge of Liverpool city centre.
The Via Verde development behind Leeds Street, alongside the award-winning Eldonian village, would see the con-struction of 356 homes, offices, bars, restaurants, shops and a store and over seven buildings of up to nine storeys high.
Developers Viride Holdings hope the scheme would be one of the greenest in Liverpool, with families in the homes receiving bicycles, and resi-dents signing up to a public transport plan. It would also create a new high street along Vauxhall Road helping to regenerate the area and link it with the city centre.
There will be 161 one-bedroom apartments, 165 two-beds, and 30 three-bed duplex units, and there will be 530 car parking spaces mostly in two underground basement levels.
Viride said it was too early to give a price for the homes as it will depend on market conditions, but that 100 will be made available on a shared equity basis.
The plan is due before the city council’s planning committee a week today, and has been recommended for approval by officials.
The scheme is a partnership between The Eldonians and Viride Holdings, the urban regeneration arm within the Somerston Property Group, a family-owned company that traces its links with Liverpool to the 1850s when its tea clippers brought cargoes to the Mersey from the Far East.
The Eldonian village, one of the country’s first housing co-operatives, was originally formed to create a lifeline for the Vauxhall area, battered by the closures of Tate and Lyle and the BAT tobacco factory.
It won support from Prince Charles for the way the com-munity worked together to rise like a phoenix.
Viride said the freehold in the entire site is to be granted to the Eldonians, ensuring an annual income of almost £1m in ground rents and service charges – with the money invested in local community regeneration projects.
Tony McGann, chairman of the Eldonian Group, said: “We are delighted with these pro-posals, as they are just what this area needs. The reaction from local people we’ve spoken to has been the same because they think it will bring the area to life.
“It will also provide oppor-tunities in terms of jobs for local young people and, hopefully, some affordable housing as well.”
Alastair Cattrell, spokesman for Viride, said: “The manage-ment of the Via Verde development, including the maintenance of the buildings and green spaces and the operation of community facil-ities such as a community crèche and cafe, will be deli-vered by new social busines-ses employing local people.
“People have sometimes been concerned city centre schemes do little to create prosperity or opportunity for local people and commun-ities. Via Verde and the Eldon-ians will see a formula ensur-ing local people derive real and direct economic benefits.
“Via Verde paves the way for a new ambitious vision for the expansion of the city centre towards Vauxhall and the regeneration of local communities. It will bring a revival of Vauxhall Road as a vibrant high street at the heart of a thriving city community. It will become a living hub.”
In a “Love the Planet” drive, Via Verde aims to establish new standards for sustainable and environmentally-friendly living, with pedestrian boule-vards and public green areas.
Every home will be built to the highest “green” specifications, guaranteeing low energy consumption.
Liverpool’s biggest basement ‘bike shed’ will store more than 400 bicycles, and residents will receive training in “green” living.
Liverpool Daily Post