Riverside’s ambitious plans to transform Palace Fields in Halton Lea has been given the green light after Halton Borough’s planning committee voted to grant planning permission on Monday 7 August 2023.
Submitted to Halton Borough Council in March following extensive consultation with the community, the approved application will mean the demolition of 26 homes and the current local centre at Palace Fields.
In their place, 134 new affordable homes, dedicated veterans housing and extra care older persons living will be constructed, alongside a brand-new local centre, commercial units, and a community café.
The historic Hallwood Manor and Stone Barns (formerly known as the Tricorn Land) will be sensitively converted into 10 of the new homes, having fallen out of use in recent years.
The scheme further promises to enrich the open, green spaces – including enhancing the historic community garden with a new play area and reviving The Moat – which stemmed from the numerous consultations held and will create places rich in biodiversity and a range of new habitats.
Within the works will be the closing of the current subway to make the crossing point level with the busway, with safer walking and cycling routes introduced to connect the shops to Palace Fields woodland and the wider neighbourhood.
Bethesda Church is also set to be demolished to make way for a brand-new church with multi-purpose spaces to provide flexible religious and community uses and a new secure garden space for outdoor activities.
To bring the scheme to life, Riverside will be teaming up with partners such as Compendium Living as the developer, Lovell Partnerships as main contractor, DK-Architects as the main architect, Planit-ie as the landscape architect, Lichfields as planning consultant and Markhams as the employers agent.
The Palace Fields’ local centre is just one half of Riverside’s wider £60m regeneration scheme, which will see the construction of 391 homes in Halton Lea.
Riverside is now set to submit proposals for The Uplands in the next month, which will see the housing association bring a further 247 new homes to the area on top of the 134 already approved.
With these, Riverside has once again offered a diverse mix of houses, apartments and bungalows, including four-bedroom properties, to match the housing need outlined by the community, alongside transformations to roads that aim to create a safer, more connected centre.
Nick Jones, Director of Development & Growth at Riverside, said:
“We’re delighted that planning permission has been granted for the first phase of our regeneration project in Halton Lea.
“The approval for the local centre is another major step forward in our ambitions to transform Runcorn and provide much needed high-quality affordable homes and spaces for local people to come together.
“Having listened to residents’ views ahead of planning submission, we are confident this new local centre will be a welcome addition to the area, especially as it had always been an ask since we began consultation.
“We’re now looking forward to starting preparations for this first phase and applying for planning for The Uplands.
“As with the proposals for Palace Fields Local Centre, we’ve continued to heavily involve the community in helping us identify ways to develop the Uplands area.
“Once again, feedback has been very positive and useful in shaping what we hope to do, leading to facilities that local people want and need, such as an increased number of 3-bedroom bungalows and improved car parking.
“We’ll soon be inviting residents across the community to a series of engagement events scheduled for this Autumn, where they will be able to discuss next steps and meet the teams involved in regenerating the area. We hope you’ll be able to join us.”
The first phase of delivering the new Palace Fields Local Centre will begin in Winter 2024.
Riverside has a long history in Runcorn and owns more than 2,700 homes across the Halton Borough.
The entire regeneration project encompassing Palace Fields across the Local Centre and The Uplands is expected to take around 10 years to deliver and will cover a variety of community enhancing projects as well as physical regeneration.
For a chance to see what the new Palace Field Local Centre and proposed Uplands will look like visit www.riverside.org.uk/haltonlea