A NEW £200m plan to regenerate Kirkby was unveiled today.

The ambitious proposals drawn up by a London-based firm which owns much of the town centre go on show to residents tomorrow.

Development Securities bosses said the scheme does not incorporate a Tesco store and could easily go ahead without Everton’s proposed new stadium.

They are now canvassing Kirkby residents for their views on the alternative plans, which are predominantly focused on the existing town centre.
Development Securities, which is hosting public consultations tomorrow and Saturday, said it wants to:

Build a new “anchor” food store in the heart of the town centre, helping revitalise shops around St Chad’s Parade.

Turn Cherryfield Drive into a second bustling shopping destination with a health centre, library, and possibly bars and restaurants.

Build up a leisure area to the east of the town centre, including a cinema and bowling alley.

Create a commercial quarter in the west of the town centre, with rebuilt council offices and maybe a hotel.

Build new housing on the site of All Saints Catholic high school, which is due to close.

Devise a second phase of development, including a large fashion store, to the south of Cherryfield Drive.

The company said it is “neutral” about the prospect of Everton moving to Kirkby and has left space off Valley Road for the Blues’ proposed stadium should the club press ahead with its relocation plans.

The rival plan comes just a week after Everton and Tesco held a major public consultation event as they prepare to submit a formal planning application to Knowsley council.

As landlord to about 100 traders, Development Securities owns a large chunk of the town centre.

They said their scheme is more realistic and will safeguard the existing town centre.

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Investment director Matthew Weiner said: “Our view is that Tesco’s plan runs the real risk of simply replacing the existing town centre with something that has no sense of place, just acres of car park and a massive Tesco.

“Our concern is that there has been no real debate about this. We think there is an alternative that enhances and reinvigorates the town centre. It has a food store, but it is right in the heart, not 750m away.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Kirkby and it must be done correctly, not for the short-term.”

Development Securities, which was previously involved in the regeneration of Huyton town centre, also said the Everton relocation decision is out of its hands.

Mr Weiner said: “We are neutral on that point and would like the people of Kirkby to decide.

“But we do think Liverpool’s design of a stadium set in a park is a more sustainable format than one tacked on to the end of a retail park.”

A Tesco spokeswoman today said some 1,700 people attended a public engagement exhibition about their plans at Kirkby Leisure Centre last week.

The exhibition was ahead of a planning application bid to Knowsley council before the end of the year.

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He said: “During the exhibition it became apparent that a number of inaccuracies have been circulating about the development.

“Tesco and Everton Football Club would like to make it a matter of public record that the new Kirkby Leisure Centre on Cherryfield Drive falls outside of the development site and will not be demolished as part of our proposals.

“Tesco can also confirm that it will not be seeking planning permission to build a distribution centre in Kirkby.

“Tesco can also reveal that its planning application will include a number of development opportunities in the existing town centre.

“Tesco is proposing to invest a six-figure sum into the Kirkby market.

“A full consultation will take place with the market traders to ensure that a modern and attractive trading environment.”

The Development Securities public consultation takes place at 5 St Chad's Parade, Kirkby town centre, between 10am and 6pm tomorrow and Saturday.

IC Liverpool