A DEVELOPER is being given an additional 2½ years to start work on a huge housing scheme on the former International Garden Festival site, in Liverpool.
The city council’s ruling Labour cabinet is set to approve the extension to a deal which grants Langtree two 150-year leases over the site. The 1,374-home Otterspool development was delayed by the recession and the collapse of Langtree’s joint venture partner David McLean in 2008.
Langtree continued its work on the 90-acre site and the former festival gardens were opened to the public this year.
The site fell into a state of disrepair in the wake of the 1984 festival which attracted more than three million visitors. A council report states: “Having completed the gardens, Langtree are now moving ahead with marketing the development site to house builders, but they accept that in the current economic climate it will be very difficult to find purchasers for this very challenging site.
“Langtree want to be able to offer developers as long a lease as possible, and therefore have requested that the council agrees to defer the deadline for completing the surrender and renewal of the lease for up to three years.”
The report, expected to be approved by councillors on Friday, reveals Langtree has already been granted two extensions. Langtree was originally due to take the leases in July, 2010. The company was given a one-year extension then further extended to May, 2012.
One lease covers the northern third of the site where the residential development will be built and the other lease covers the public open space.
The company will not pay for the leases, but the deal obliges Langtree to provide a dowry to cover future site maintenance.