Almost 200 new homes to be built on site of former school

Plans to build almost 200 homes on the site of a former secondary school are set to take another step forward this week.

Bellway Homes wants to build 185 houses on Orrell Road in Litherland, where St Wilfrid’s Catholic High school stood until it closed in August 2012.

Documents on Sefton Council’s website show the development would consist of a mix of two, three and four bedroom houses – as well as a new highway access junction from Hawthorne Road, public open space and a children’s play area.

Proposals also include an electricity substation.

Planning permission for the development was granted in March 2020, but there are binding conditions written into part of the land’s deeds which need to be released in order for building works to start.

Sefton Council is set to approve the condition (restrictive covenant) be released this week.

Council documents say around 1.25 hectares of the land, which is council-owned, is affected by the restrictive covenant.

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Bellway, the report reads, are eager to complete the deal and take ownership of the site as soon as possible and are “in a position to mobilise ground works at short notice”.

This means they could commence the site remediation process within the next few weeks, once the covenant issue is overcome.

The decision to close the school came shortly after St Wilfrid’s was the first school in Sefton to be placed in special measures by Ofsted.

When Sefton Council announced the closure, in January 2011, reasons cited included surplus pupils’ places, a finance deficit, and a continued decline of young people in south Sefton.

The land has remained unused since August 2012.

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