In 2015, after years of neglect, Sefton Council commissioned a study to provide an Investment Strategy for Crosby Village.
This study, which was approved by Cabinet in November 2015, committed the Council “to negotiate with major landowners and potential developers. It will actively consider the role, use and potential disposal of its property assets to create a viable scheme and facilitate the regeneration of Crosby.”
But what has happened?
St Modwen Ltd purchased several shop units and vacant land from Sainsburys and began refurbishing Glenn Buildings on Moor Lane.
This regeneration, though welcome, is being driven by the private developer at its own pace and with no influence or negotiation by the Council. The Council is ignoring the commitments made in their own planning policies. The Council could have used its considerable influence as the major landowner to develop an attractive scheme in partnership with developers which would meet the needs of the local community sharing in the rental income.
This Council has not realised that the Village needs more than shops, cafes and bars and a Christmas tree. Where are the Council’s proposals to use the vacant sites and redundant buildings for much-needed housing rather than continuing to build on greenfield sites? Why are they not speaking to the NHS to provide a much-needed health centre within the Village? Why are they not offering to put their car parks into a development package so that they can be improved and properly maintained? Where is the Council’s proposal for rationalising the bus stops, taxi ranks and roundabouts? The Council has even closed its public toilets which now stand as an eyesore on the by-pass.
This Council has spent £32m buying Bootle Strand, but has lost sight of the needs of Crosby Village.
Speaking this week leader of Blundellsands Conservative action team Martyn Barber said: "Local Conservatives would actively work with other public, private and voluntary organisations to properly regenerate Crosby Village and produce an attractive and creative solution for the area, rather than sit on the sidelines as Labour are doing.