Peel Battle Objections over Liverpool Waterfront Revamp
Peel Holdings, the developer behind such high-profile schemes as MediaCityUK, continues to face objections from conservation groups and local residents over its plans to regenerate parts of the Liverpool waterfront.
The ┬ú5.5bn Liverpool Waters scheme covers an area of dockland stretching from Bath Street to Blackstone Street, and aims to introduce high-rise buildings for office space, retail use, and to create up to 14,000 apartments.
The plans also include the 55-storey Shanghai Tower, set to be the centrepiece of the project and the tallest UK building outside of London.
The extensive plans for Liverpool Waters have been many years in the making, and it is a feat that Lindsey Ashworth, Development Director at Peel Holdings, describes as an “unbelievable achievement”.
However, one major source of concern comes from conservation group English Heritage, who say that the plans should be reviewed amid fears that it will undermine the city’s historical World Heritage Site waterfront and cause damage to buried remains of the docks.
The group has requested further clarification of the plans and have commissioned an assessment which it will submit to the council.
According to the BBC, a spokesperson for English Heritage said that while the group “fully supports” the regeneration of the Central Docks, it has advised the council that the current plans could harm the protected site. Specifically, the construction of underground car parks is thought to require the removal of buried remains of the docks, which forms a key part of the siteΓÇÖs listed status.
“We have advised that we cannot support the scheme on the basis of the information currently available. We will work closely with Peel and the council to resolve the concerns we have identified,” he said.
Peel’s Lindsey Ashworth has expressed frustration over the latest objection from English Heritage. He commented:
“We’ve spent the last few years working with English Heritage, and the scheme started off with a lot more tall buildings. It’s got them down now to two clusters and I’m not taking it down any further.”
He said that the scheme has already been reviewed, adding: “I think English Heritage now are going to have to find a way to agree with us the way the scheme is, as what I’m not having is a series of grey warehouses. That was alright 100 years ago, but for the needs of this century, we need to have something dynamic on the land.”
An effort to find a solution for the concerns without a public inquiry is on-going.
As part of a separate development project by Peel Holdings on the Liverpool waterfront, a planning application to build what would be the second-tallest skyscraper in Liverpool was approved earlier this week.
But Peel now faces objections from local residents who have expressed concerns over excessive traffic. They have also raised fears that the new tower would overshadow theirs, and add to an already high level of vacant apartments in the city.
The proposal, which would introduce a 34-storey tower and adjacent building featuring apartments, a hotel, retail and office space, was previously approved by councillors but had to be re-submitted when the planning permission expired.
According to city centre planning officer Peter Jones, the development may never go ahead despite permission being granted by the Council, because the nearby Liverpool Waters scheme has taken priority.
“Peel’s priority is to pursue the Liverpool Waters’ scheme and in my view there’s a good chance this proposal may not be implemented,” he said.
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