PLANS for Wirral Council to buy key properties in New Ferry are set to be considered at a public meeting.

Once under public ownership, the council will clear the sites and build new retail and residential developments in the town.

Properties include a row of run-down and largely vacant retail premises on New Chester Road and a row of mixed retail and residential units on Bebington Road which face the explosion site.

Some of the affected properties have already been demolished for safety reasons while others still remain but in a state of disrepair.

Council leader Cllr Phil Davies told the Globe: "Over the past months, the council has been working with Homes England – and its appointed consultants – to make progress on a residential masterplan for the area, one which will provide a key trigger for the wider regeneration of New Ferry.

“This latest proposal to bring key land and properties under the Council’s control will see us invest nearly £1.3 million in addition to the £400,000 we have already spent on recovery efforts.

"We are also working with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to unlock £500,000 in regional funding to help us bring forward our plans at place.

“The focus of this new residential plan is based around the Woodhead Street car park area, which is already in the council’s ownership.

"The strategic acquisition of the properties on New Chester Road will remove the blight of those derelict buildings and open up the wider site for attractive redevelopment, including new community amenities and homes.

“Opening up sites and giving greater flexibility for redevelopment is the reason behind the acquisition of properties and land on Bebington Road.

"This area backs onto another small block of land already owned by the council so, along with the adjacent, currently vacant industrial unit, the entire Bebington Road site becomes an attractive development plot.”

Last month the Government came under fire for refusing to help the town after the devastating explosion which injured 33 people.

This led to local politicians, including Cllr Davies, calling Communities Secretary James Brokenshire 'heartless and callous.'

Deputy leader of the Labour group Cllr Bernie Mooney said: "Our commitment to the people of New Ferry has never wavered.

“While we were helping residents and businesses come to terms with the immediate impact of last year’s explosion, we also began laying the foundations for a longer-term plan for the area.

“We are grateful for the campaigning efforts of local MP Alison McGovern and Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram.

"We are also thankful for the hard work and support of council officers, local businesses and community groups like New Ferry Town Team and New Beginnings who have been lending support to residents every day since the explosion.

“Sadly, in the last few weeks, it has become abundantly clear the Government has no intention of directly supporting New Ferry.

"It seems they simply do not care. So, if we want to reshape New Ferry as a thriving retail and residential centre, we will need to make it happen ourselves.

“Despite the complications of land and properties across the sites being owned by various companies and people, I am delighted we have been able to find a way to deliver a comprehensive regeneration plan for New Ferry.

"With Port Sunlight on its doorstep, this can be a place where people want to visit, where businesses will want to locate, and where people will want to live.

“We will create a New Ferry residents can be proud of.”

Proposals to buy the land will be considered at a special meeting of the Council’s Cabinet on Monday, December 17 at 10am, which will be streamed live on the council website.