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

Former Millhouse Pub Site – Some Success


bb-pic-gates-millhouse-20-sept-16Following weeks of lobbying by local Councillors, Bruce Berry, (pictured at the new gates) Steve Williams, Chris Blakeley and local residents its good news for those who live near to the former Millhouse Pub. The owners, Galliford Try have finally fenced and gated the vehicle access to the site. This will hopefully stop further fly tipping. The owners have also promised to trim back the overgrown vegetation.

Millhouse Pub Update

Over the last few days there has been an exchange of emails between myself and Darren Leary of Galliford Try, (reproduced below) who are the owners of the Millhose Pub site.

The site has been neglected over the months and has become a real eyesore.    Hopefully the promises made by Mr Leary regarding tidying the site and securing it will come to fruition.    Time will tell

From: “Darren Leary (Galliford Try)” <>
Date: 7 September 2016 at 19:33:37 BST
To: “Blakeley, Chris (Councillor)” <>
Cc: “Williams, Stephen M. (Councillor)” <>, “Berry, Bruce (Councillor)” <>
Subject: RE: Millhouse Pub Site

Mr Blakeley,

Galliford Try is currently in the process of arranging to remove the fly tipping and erecting some further security measures with a view to restricting access to the site. This will be done in the next 7 days. Vegetation will also be trimmed back in the near future.


Darren Leary
Development Director

Tel: +441925885700

Galliford Try Partnerships North West
Innovation House
Kelburn Court, Birchwood
Cheshire WA3 6UT

From: Blakeley, Chris (Councillor) []
Sent: 06 September 2016 13:55
To: Darren Leary (Galliford Try)
Cc: Greg Fitzgerald (Galliford Try plc); Williams, Stephen M. (Councillor); Berry, Bruce (Councillor)
Subject: Millhouse Pub Site

Dear Mr Leary

I am aware that my colleagues and local residents have contacted you regarding the appalling state of this site, which has become a magnet for fly tippers and all kinds of trouble.

Having seen many emails I am also aware that you have chosen to lay the blame for the lack of development and the subsequent condition of the site on local Councillors, who supported local residents in opposing the planning application. Before you deny that please read this direct quote from one of your emails. The scheme was refused only once by local councillors at Committee influenced by some fairly spurious statements by one local member in particular.

Regardless of that, the maintenance, protection and upkeep of this site is the sole responsibility of Galliford Try, a multi-billion £ company that boasts revenues of £2.3billion. Yet for reasons clearly best known to yourself you appear to want to leave this site, located in a densely populated residential area on a main thoroughfare in a forlorn and unkempt state, is this to punish local residents for having the audacity to object to your original planning application?

On behalf of local residents I request that you stop delaying and take immediate action to clean up this site, remove the fly tipping, cut back the vegetation and maintain to an acceptable standard until such time that you have a development ready to be started, and or you sell the land to another individual or company.

Myself, my colleagues and local residents do not believe that this is too much to ask. I have attached photographs taken by me this morning that are representative of the condition of this site.

I look forward, to hopefully, a positive response

Yours sincerely

Chris Blakeley
Councillor for Moreton West and Saughall Massie Ward

74, Grampian Way, Moreton CH46 0PZ

Tel: 0151 677 9040

Mob: 07803 614418

Twitter: @CllrCBlakeley

Millhouse Appeal – Planning Inspectorate say NO to a Public Hearing!

I was disappointed to receive an email today from the Planning Inspectorate informing me that the Inspectorate would not hold a public hearing into this appeal, and, instead would determine the outcome by an exchange of correspondence (see email at the bottom of this post)

I believe in the interests of openness and transparency this matter should have been the subject of a public hearing, where local residents would have been able to put their objections to this development forward and tell the inspector face to face why this appeal should be dismissed.   Instead this matter will now be determined by a faceless beaurocrat based in Bristol.    I sincerely hope the Inspector takes into account the massive opposition to this proposal

It’s worth repeating that we are not opposed to this ‘eyesore’ being redeveloped, however with a development that is more in keeping with the existing streetscene.

Email starts

Dear All,

We have completed a review of the procedure following the receipt of the LPA’s statement and third party representations. We consider that there would be no obvious benefit in holding a hearing as the Inspector should be able to come to an informed conclusion on the basis of the written evidence submitted and a site visit. Thus the written procedure seems to be suitable and the appeal will continue in this way. Please note that the Inspector has the final decision on the procedure and if they considers it necessary they will not hesitate to change the procedure.

Kind regards
Joanna Martin
Case Officer – Planning Team 11
Room 3/04
The Planning Inspectorate
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Temple Quay
Bristol, BS1 6PN
Telephone: 0303 444 5427
(GTN 7 8870) Fax: 0117 372 8443

Email ends

Millhouse Pub Appeal – UPDATE

Last year the planning application made by Galliford Try for a three storey complex of flats was unanimously refused by Wirral’s Planning Committee who said:  The development would be unsatisfactory and undesirable having regard to its scale and massing which would be out of scale with neighbouring development. In particular, the proposed form and rectangular bulk would result in an unacceptable visual impact which would relate poorly to other residential properties and the domestic scale of the area, which the Local Planning Authority considers, would have a detrimental impact within this setting. The proposal is of an inappropriate scale and would result in a detrimental change in the character and appearance of the surrounding area. To allow the proposals would be contrary to Policy HS4 of the Wirral Unitary Development Plan

Well we know the applicant has submitted an appeal and that appeal has now started.  We know the applicant has requested that the appeal be dealt with by an exchange of documentation, however I believe this matter to be too important to local residents so I have requested that the appeal be the subject of a public hearing.   As soon as I know the outcome of my request I will write to you again.  Regardless of the method of appeal it is now a live matter and all representations to the planning inspectorate need to be submitted by the 10th August.

I would urge local residents to make representation to the Inspector and they can do this by writing to The Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/09, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol BS1 6PN alternatively they can submit comments on the Planning Portal at: or via email to: whichever residents choose please quote appeal reference APP/W4325/W/15/3022092

If we are to have this appeal dismissed then local residents need to come together as they did when opposing planning permission.