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A date has been set for the long-awaited Public Inquiry into the £150 million regeneration of North Liverpool’s Great Homer Street.

A Government inspector will be sent to Liverpool on 19th June for a 12-day hearing to decide if the much-needed regeneration can go ahead. The partners behind the project have described it as the most important milestone in the scheme to-date and are urging local people to show their support for the scheme ahead of the hearing.

Michelle Taylor, regional director at developer St. Modwen, said: “The Inquiry is a chance for the people of North Liverpool to tell the government that this scheme needs to be delivered. Project Jennifer has a strong chance of success but we need the community to help us demonstrate just how important it is to North Liverpool. We are therefore holding a series of public events in May to allow local people to leave their messages of support for the plans.”

As there are approximately 200 land interests involved in the 45-acre site, a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) is needed to acquire all the land needed for the scheme. A number of objections were raised to the CPO, mainly from existing businesses in the area, and so the Government must hold an Inquiry to decide if CPO powers should be granted. Liverpool City Council and St. Modwen have already completed a number of successful discussions to relocate existing businesses based at the site before the CPO comes into effect.

The scheme, which was born out of a community request for regeneration and investment in the area, has been in motion since 2004 when St. Modwen was appointed as preferred development partner by Liverpool City Council. If it is successful at the Inquiry, work could finally start on-site by spring 2013.

Liverpool City Council will be presenting the case for the development at the Inquiry, with support from St. Modwen and the scheme’s anchor tenant Sainsbury’s.

Michelle Taylor continued: “The local community have been very supportive of the plans all the way through the process, despite some frustrating delays, but it is now more important than ever that they make their voices heard.

“Project Jennifer has always been an ambitious plan which will bring widespread benefits to North Liverpool and act as a catalyst for future regeneration. The Inquiry is the final major hurdle and we are working closely with our partners to prepare a robust case.”

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport, Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, said: “This is another key milestone for Project Jennifer and it’s really important local people – who have made it very clear that they overwhelmingly back the scheme – make their views known, loud and clear.

“A huge amount of work, dedication and effort has gone into bringing the plans to this stage, and we have worked closely with local residents and businesses at every step of the way. We now want as many people as possible to play their part at this decisive time, so that we can make this vital scheme a reality.”

St. Modwen and Liverpool City Council will be holding a series of public consultation events to remind people of the detail of the plans and capture support for the £150 million investment. 

The events will start on 17th May with two drop-in sessions at the Lifestyles Everton Park centre from 11.30am to 2pm and 4pm to 6.30pm.

The team will also have a large presence at Great Homer Street market on Saturday 19th and Saturday 26th May between 9am and 12.30pm, which will include cooking demonstrations from the Sainsbury’s ‘Try Team’.

Feedback can also be left at the scheme’s dedicated website which will go live on 17th May with an online feedback form.