A massive regeneration project will transform Birkenhead in ways not seen for 200 years.

That’s according to Wirral Council leader Pat Hackett, who was ramming home his key message about the town at this week's cabinet meeting.

He said Birkenhead’s many projects, including town centre apartments and a new leisure centre, will “bring an inner confidence back to the town.”

Cllr Hackett added: “Exactly one year ago today, this council was threatened with intervention, because we hadn’t been able to agree the council’s approach to the Local Plan.”

But he argued that through cross party working, Wirral Council has shown it can deliver a competent Local Plan which allows residents to have a say in their future.

The special meeting was held to discuss Wirral’s emerging Local Plan- the document which sets out the council’s development priorities for the next 15 years.

Chief among which is the building of 12,000 homes, mostly in the east of the borough.

The key pledge in the document is to protect the greenbelt and not build any homes on it.

But there are fears that this unrealistic, given the high cost of building on brownfield sites and the difficulty investors may have in getting a return on their money.

However, Cllr Hackett insisted a “high quality regeneration strategy” can secure the brownfield sites which are “vital” to the borough’s prospects.

With the co-operation of developers such as Peel in Wirral Waters and the Wirral Growth Company and Muse in Birkenhead, Cllr Hackett said he was “extremely confident” all 12,000 brownfield homes will be delivered.

He noted recent progress on Wirral Waters, which has seen work start on three projects which will bring 1,000 homes to the borough.

Cllr Anita Leech, the cabinet member for the Local Plan, said it was important residents knew this plan was not set in stone and they will have the chance to give their views.

That will happen in a public consultation which runs from January 27 to March 23.