Potential improvements to Hoylake’s town centre, Carr Lane industrial and residential areas and a remodelling of the 120-year-old promenade have been put forward in a new ‘masterplan’ document.
Commissioned by community planning forum Hoylake Vision, the document has been produced by consultants AECOM, and has been based on the results of a consultation process in 2020 run by Liverpool-based community interest company, PLACED.
Public feedback to the proposed masterplan will now be taken into consideration, after which a revised document will support the town’s Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP).
The NDP was passed at a public referendum in December 2016 in which 86 per cent of local voters agreed that it should form part of Wirral Borough Council’s Local Plan. It means the various objectives, priorities and policies within it must be considered by the Local Authority when planning decisions are made.
The masterplan will soon be accompanied by a ‘Design Code’ which will offer more detail about the options, for example high level ideas for a comprehensive remodelling of the Victorian promenade while tackling a range of drainage problems that have adversely affected the beach.
In March this year, the government awarded £150m to Local Authorities around the country for 25 similar projects through its Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme with an average award of £6m per project.
The group hope it will help the council secure cash from a future round of funding.
Chair of the planning forum Mark Howard said: “We hope this document will generate local interest in the work of the forum, as well as catching the eye of potential investors and the support of the Local Authority.
“We need to continue to promote Hoylake as a great place to live, visit, work and invest in by building on the successes of the past. We need to continue to attract more niche, independent destination businesses to come to Hoylake and we need to continue to innovate by taking advantage of new post-Covid-19 social realities. This document sets the foundations for all of that.
“The ideas for a remodelling of the promenade are especially exciting, including sustainable drainage systems; all terrain wheelchair hire; more seating; landscape viewing points; ‘soakaway’ planting schemes; a small café and more.
“It is very much a promenade concept for the 21st century, putting ‘people before cars’; single level porous surfacing with pedestrian crossovers; improved traffic management and parking; EV charging points; and cycle lane markings. We are also still very keen to hear more suggestions from residents and businesses.
“This could well become a reality within the next few years, but we need the council, our residents and businesses to support the ideas, put forward their suggestions, and help us shape this into a form that will support the Local Authority in a future funding bid.”
Jo Harrop, Director of PLACED, said: “It’s really good to see this document take such good shape from the consultation we ran in 2020. It clearly shows just how much positivity and creativity there is in Hoylake and how much people care for their own built and natural environments. It’s been a pleasure to work with the forum on this exciting project.”
Nick Beedie, Principal Urban Designer at AECOM, said: “This has been a huge, locally driven project and very exciting to work on. The consultation responses have been fed in throughout the process so it represents the ambitions of the community.
“We’re working on some more detailed ideas in the Design Code currently and hope to have that published soon. I hope Hoylake residents and businesses find it a thought provoking and exciting opportunity to mould further. I don’t live in Hoylake but I’ve come to like the town and area very much.”
Local resident and Hoylake Vision member, Chris Moore CBE, said: ”The forum has produced a really valuable document that stands to provide a clear and inspiring pathway for the future of the town. By giving sharper focus to local initiatives it will complement other planning documents and serve Hoylake well for many years to come.
“I urge everyone to join the forum and have their say in this exciting community initiative and I hope our ward councillors and the Local Authority can work with the forum to attract the necessary investments to make these improvements to our town over the coming years.”
You can read the document here: https://hoylakevision.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/DR_10904_Hoylake_NDP_MASTERPLAN_15.06.21_Optimised.pdf