CONSTRUCTION has begun on three 'low carbon' homes in New Ferry as the town's recovery from a devastating explosion continues.

Property Development Group Starship started putting together their factory-built zero carbon affordable homes on Bebington Road this week, just yards from the scene of the blast that rocked the town in March 2017.

It is one of the first regeneration projects in the area since the incident.

The council is looking to find a developer for wider regeneration on the explosion site.

Starship's development is separate to this.

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Work underway on new homes in New Ferry. Picture: Craig Manning

A Starship spokesperson said: "The home's unique panellised model means that a new one can be delivered and installed anywhere where a refuse collection vehicle can fit, with no special arrangements or unnecessary disruption to the community.

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Starship's directors Chris Moores, Karl Venture, Dave Dargan and Chris Dodd on site of zero carbon affordable homes being built in New Ferry. Picture: Craig Manning

"Local contractors will be used to provide internal fit out and finishing works meaning that maximum economic impact is delivered locally."

The company was formed in 2020 following the acquisition and merger of several existing property development and construction businesses and is backed by a private investment fund.

It has previously built over £75m of residential projects across the North West, Worcestershire and Oxfordshire.Wirral Globe:

Work underway on new homes in New Ferry. Picture: Craig Manning

The homes being constructed in New Ferry were manufactured at the company's facility in Deeside.

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Work underway on new homes in New Ferry. Picture: Craig Manning

Dave Dargan, director of Starship said: "We are delighted to be delivering these innovative low carbon homes in a community that has seen some significant challenges over the past five years.

"To be bringing such an exciting project to the area is fantastic and creating a real buzz.

"These spacious homes will have the lowest running costs of any property in the immediate area and are delivering more affordable living for local people.

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Work underway on new homes in New Ferry. Picture: Craig Manning

"Our homes are hand build in our manufacturing centres and finished by local contractors so each and every home we deliver creates real jobs and real local opportunities for people”

The explosion in New Ferry on March 25, 2017, destroyed homes and businesses, leaving locals in a state of shock.

It was so severe that some had to live in temporary accommodation for as long as two years.

In total the explosion injured 81 people, forced 83 residents to leave their homes and 32 businesses to close.

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FLASHBACK: Destruction caused in the explosion in March, 2017. Picture: Craig Manning

Furniture shop owner Pascal Blasio was jailed for 20 years in October 2019 after being found unanimously guilty of causing an explosion likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property and fraud involving an insurance claim he made after the blast.

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Parts of New Ferry that will be transformed

The council's plans for regeneration in New Ferry are wide-ranging.

One of the three areas earmarked for development is the site of the explosion on Boundary Road, while another development will be opposite the explosion site where many existing retail and residential buildings were damaged beyond repair in that blast.

The third site incorporates a block of largely derelict and disused retail units along the main New Chester Road, as well as part of a council-owned car park on Woodhead Street that backs onto the explosion site.

In total, across the three sites the proposal is for the building of up to 79 new residential units – a mixture of two and three-bedroom houses and one and two-bedroom apartments.

There is planning consent for more than 1,000 square metres of retail floorspace across the sites.

There are also plans for public realm and highway improvements.

It includes a scheme to partially reopen the currently pedestrianised Bebington Road to traffic and take away the barriers at the junction with School Lane so through traffic from the main New Chester Road would have access to the Village Hall and parking spaces within the retail centre of Bebington Road, as well as the new residential developments.

Short-stay parking bays would be incorporated into the highway improvements on Bebington Road to encourage further footfall to the businesses there and provide an improved appearance, with new benches, street lighting and landscaping.

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