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Earlestown town centre outline plans approved

Outline planning proposals for Earlestown town centre Masterplan have been approved.

St Helens Borough Council and its partner the English Cities Fund (ECF), a joint venture between Muse Developments, Homes England and Legal & General, had put forward the planning application for the first phases of the Earlestown Town Centre Masterplan Development Framework.

This includes the demolition of the public toilet, market managers accommodation and commercial building at the corner of Market Square and Stanley Street, with outline plans to build a market canopy over a section of Market Square alongside Haydock Street together with new retail kiosks adjacent to Wilko’s on Market Street.

The plans also include public realm improvements focused around linking Market Square to Earlestown Rail Station and extending along Bridge Street.

The approval comes just as the council is due to submit a bid to round two of the Levelling Up Fund for £20 million to support the wider regeneration of Earlestown. If successful, the funding would also support the reopening of the historic Earlestown Town Hall, which played host to the likes of The Beatles in its heyday, by turning it into a multi-use facility.

Councillor Richard McCauley, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning, said: “When we unveiled the plans last year we were keen to make sure that action followed our ambitions and this planning approval is a sign of our intent to deliver on our masterplan. It’s the first major planning permission approval after the adoption of our Local Plan which sets out our development plans for the next 25 years and will contribute significant regeneration of Earlestown and support a sustainable future for the historic market.

“We’ll now continue our work with ECF and the local community on the detailed designs for Earlestown town centre to secure their earliest delivery. We will also continue to look at wider developments that benefit the area, including the restoration of the Grade II listed Earlestown Town Hall to reopen its doors to the public as a vibrant space with a variety of uses. The future for Earlestown is certainly bright.”

Leon Guyett, development director at ECF, said: “We’re delighted to receive approval from the council’s planning committee on our Earlestown application, which will breathe new life into the historic market town.

“We’re keeping momentum with our partners at the council and local community, as we work together to bring forward place-changing, sustainable regeneration that will help to build a brighter future for all.”

The English Cities Fund and St Helens Borough Council have formed a long-term partnership, with the aim of regenerating and reinvigorating areas across the borough, including Earlestown and St Helens town centres.