Nov 20 2012 By Joe Thomas
PLANS to demolish a well-known Formby grot spot and replace it with houses have been revealed.
The derelict powerhouse is a well-known landmark to commuters and shoppers on Merseyrail's Northern Line but has become a target for vandals since falling into disuse.
The proposals, set to be discussed at a public consultation tomorrow night, have attracted controversy with campaigners objecting to the redevelopment of the site.
Built in the early 1900s the 280ft long powerhouse supplied electricity to the Liverpool to Southport railway line for decades until it stopped operating in 1946.
Since then it has been used by an insulation firm, a plastic products company and as a warehouse, before being abandoned.
In 2010 Sefton Council approved a planning application to convert the Hogs Hill Lane building into luxury apartments but those plans have been shelved.
Now developers are eyeing up the land for 62 homes, car parking and public open space, with 10% of the new homes dedicated as affordable housing.
According to Emery, who are working on behalf of Bellway Homes, “the proposals have been drawn up in consultation with Sefton Borough Council and aim to regenerate this prominent Green Belt site to bring it back into productive use and relieve pressure for the release of other undeveloped Green Belt land to meet local housing need.”
Formby Residents Action Group Opposition From Formby (FRAGOFF), which was created to block building plans on another nearby Green Belt site, said they would extend their efforts to oppose this project.
Maria Bennett, FRAGOFF's chairwoman, revealed the group were not against the development of the building, but only if it did not impinge on the Green Belt.
She said: “We are going to object because they want to extend onto the Green Belt. We have got no objection to a development on the footprint of the powerhouse because the powerhouse is an eyesore.”
A public consultation event to display the draft proposals will take place at Formby Swimming Pool on Tuesday, November 20, from 3.30pm-7pm.
Plans can also be viewed at: www.epp-planning.co.uk