An application to regenerate Bootle Canal Quarter into a community-led green living and business plot has been rejected by the Council.

SAFE regeneration’s proposal to regenerate the area with affordable housing, leisure activities and new businesses was expected to introduce 110 local jobs and contribute £3.8m to the local economy.

But the council, who met last week, rejected the application saying it would constitute ‘overdevelopment’ with a density of around 90 dwellings per hectare.

Another reason for refusal was that the houses would not have enough space to fit two cars to every house.

Only 5% of residents in Bootle own two cars, and public transport in the area is good, with two train stations only a few minutes walk away.

Sefton council initially hailed the proposal, saying that such investment showed the town was “open for business.”

Steven Healey, Senior Planning Officer at Sefton Council said: “It is always unfortunate where the Council must refuse a planning application which has demonstrable benefits.”

As well as all homes being fitted with solar panels, the houses were also due to be let on an affordable basis, helping people on low incomes get on the property ladder.

Brian Dawe, CEO of Safe Regeneration, said: “We are facing a climate emergency and global push to reduce car ownership.

“Sefton Council should be supporting green projects like this, not pushing for more cars on the road.”

The council has declared a Climate Emergency and is asking all new flats and houses to be fitted with electric vehicle charging points. This development only offered communal charging points.

Steven Healey said: “It is not considered that in refusing this application the Council is deterring future investment.

“The town is an important component of the Liverpool City Region with a dedicated Regeneration Team committed to improving the town’s prospects and encouraging sustainable development.”

A petition from local residents to reverse the decision was signed by 600 people.

Micheal Brennan, Chair of Bootle Action Group said: “Local residents are really disappointed. This is OUR development – it will breathe life back into our community and give the people of Bootle real opportunities for change.”

The full proposal can be seen here.

For more community stories, click here.

Image courtesy of Ellis Williams Architect.

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