Millhouse Pub Site – UPDATE

I reported earlier this week about the sale of the Millhouse Pub Site from Galliford Try to the Symphony Housing Group.

I have today received an email response from the Group Chief Executive setting out their plans for the redevelopment of this site.  I have reproduced that email below.   LHT regers to Liverpool Housing Trust, part of the Symphony Group

As you will read they are going to ditch the plans for 38 apartments and submit a planning application for 28 x 2 bedroom 3 person flats for rent or buying, this seems to me to be a more acceptable proposal.

Email starts

Dear Cllr Blakeley,

Many thanks for your e mail raising your concerns about the Millhouse site.

LHT purchased the site from Galliford Try in Mid November 2016 with planning as mentioned in your email.  In our view the scheme with planning was too dense and we had indicative plans drawn up to enable a firm bid to be submitted to the HCA for 28 x two bedroom 3 person flats for rent to buy (general needs).  I am pleased to tell you that this was successful and that we now have a grant allocation for the site.

As you observed, we have tidied and fenced the site and understand that there are no current concerns from neighbours about anti-social behaviour.  We are about to tender for demolition works to clear the site.  We are working with the Local Authority, have started all the site investigations and have a meeting in place this week with the architect to move the site forward.  Our aim is to have a 2017/18 start on site subject to the revised planning.

We would be delighted to meet with you,  maybe on site, to discuss our plans and to that end, I have copied in my colleague Lin Powell who is leading our work and asked her to get in touch with you directly.

I trust that this is of assistance.

With kind regards

Bronwen Rapley, Group Chief Executive

Symphony Housing Group, 12 Hanover Street, Liverpool, L1 4AA

Millhouse Pub Site, Millhouse Lane

I have heard that the site has now been sold by Galliford Try to the Symphony Housing Group

Symphony Housing Group describe themselves as the largest registered social landlord based solely in the North West. With over 41,000 properties, we operate across 30 local authorities and we are committed to supporting the regeneration and sustainability of the North West.

I have sent Bronwen Rapley, Group Chief Executive an email asking what plans Symphony has for this site. I have reproduced that email below.   As soon as i get a response I will of course ensure local residents and the wider community are informed.

Email Starts

Dear Ms Rapley

I understand that the Symphony Housing Group has purchased from Galliford Try, the former Millhouse pub site, Millhouse Lane, Moreton CH46 6HJ

As you will be aware a planning application, APP/14/00706 for the Demolition of The Millhouse public house and erection of 38 residential apartments for older people (over 55s) and other associated development including hard and soft landscaping, boundary treatment, car parking, and alterations to access from Millhouse Lane.( amended proposals, reducing number of units, increasing car parking and alterations to elevations) was refused unanimously by Wirral’s Planning Committee on the 22nd October, 2014, however the application was subsequently allowed at appeal.

Since the appeal was allowed by the planning inspectorate in 2015 the site has been left to deteriorate and has become an eyesore to local residents, a real blot on the landscape, and indeed, until it was tidied and fenced off was a magnet for fly tipping and anti-social behaviour.

As one of the three Ward Councillors for the area, along with local residents we are keen to see this site redeveloped and brought back into use as soon as possible.

I would very much appreciate it if you could tell me if it is Symphony’s intention to build in line with the current approved planning permission, or do you have other plans for this site?

I look forward to your response


Chris Blakeley

Councillor for Moreton West and Saughall Massie Ward

74, Grampian Way, Moreton CH46 0PZ

Tel: 0151 606 9193

Mob: 07803 614418

Its Taken Just Over Two Years But!

Readers of the blog and the wider Moreton community may be aware, and may recall the drugs raid that took place resulting in a closure order at 94 Curlew Way, Moreton.     It has taken a lot of time, and a few emails encouraging Wirral Partnership Homes (WPH) to bring the house back into use.    Well, finally I am delighted that  WPH will be starting work on the house in early 2011 and hope to have it back in use with a family in residence by March 2011.      Some things are worth waiting for, however I still think two and half years is far too long……..

Wirral’s Healthy Homes Pilot

This morning, in my role as the Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety I was delighted to open a stakeholder event about Healthy Homes.

Healthy homes is a new way of delivering front line services to some of Wirral’s most vulnerable individuals by bringing a wide range of partners together to address a range of factors that can impact on their health and wellbeing.     It’s primary aim is addressing health inequalities by ensuring an effective, targeted and co-ordinated response to an individual needs via an outreach approach; an approach which embraces the spirit of localism, efficiency and joined up working.

Staff from the Council’s Housing, DASS and Community Safety Teams are working together with the Police, Fire Service and agencies such as Energy Projects Plus, Involve North West and VCAW to engage difficult to reach groups and ensure help is accessible to those who need it most.    This initiatives support Wirral’s Sustainable Community Strategy, LAA and Corporate Plan by contributing directly towards key improvement targets for the borough.    The inititive will help to improve the health and well being for all, ensuring people who require support are full participants in mainstream society, contributing to a prosperous economy and regeneration objectives and helping to create a clean, pleasant, safe and sustainable environment in Wirral.    

The pilot for this project, which will be in New Brighton will start in just a few weeks.      We hope this will be an evolving process from which we can learn valuable lessons in partnership working and improve engagement skills so that resources are targeted at those who need services most.   If successful the Council plans to replicate the approach in other parts of Wirral.    You can read more on this by clicking HERE

Shops and Maisonettes, Town Meadow Lane

Earlier this afternoon, along with Cllr Steve Williams I attended a meeting with Steve Eaves from Wirral Partnership Homes (WPH) and the three shopkeepers who are trading in Town Meadow Lane.   The meeting was the third in a series of meetings over the re-development of this site.     Since our last meeting WPH have got ‘in principle agreement’ from Wirral’s Planners for the development of the site, as well as ‘in principle agreement’ from the Council to release the land to the front of the property.       WPH are meeting later this week with a prospective developer, and if those talks go well we could see a planning application being submitted within the next three months.      Whilst it appears everything is moving along nicely there are still many hurdles to jump, including the need for some sort of grant funding from the Government.      We will keep our fingers crossed.     We are meeting again in early July, and hopefully we will be in a position to report further progress.


I was delighted to hear that Chris Allen, Chief Executive of Forum Housing had recently been awarded a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ given by the Childrens Workforce Development Council.  You can read more about that by clicking here.

I think the work Chris and her team do with young people is absolutely splendid.  That said we did of course have a well publicised  disagreement over a proposed scheme in Moreton back in 2001.    That is the only thing I think we have ever argued about.    Anyway I am absolutely thrilled that her work has been recognised through this award, and although I have been invited to celebrate Chris’s award later this month, sadly I have had to decline because I am on holiday.      I hope the celebration goes well.

Deserting a Sinking Ship?

I recently received the latest ‘E ‘edition of ‘Sounding Board’ from Wirral Social Landlord, Wirral Partnership Homes (WPH).   As a former Board Member, resigning twice, because I did not agree with the way the WPH Board was moving the business forward, I am not surprised to see yet more people, both Tenants and Independents leaving the Board.    One wonders, if like me, they have seen the light?     You can read the full document by clicking here.  There is also an interesting comment about one of the Wirral Labour Councillors attendance record!   

I have said before and I believe it is worth repeating:  If I knew then what I knew now, I would never have supported transferring the Council Housing Stock to any Social Landlord.   I would urge any Councils who still hold their stock NOT to transfer.  In my opinion, it is not in your tenants interest under any circumstances.