Liverpool Waters plans submitted today

Posted on by John Cronin

Privately owned property investment giant Peel Group has today submitted outline plans for a £5.4 billion scheme in Liverpool.

Liverpool WatersFour years ago Peel presented its vision for the transformation of 150 acres of derelict dockland in Liverpool into a huge 14m sq ft mixed-use development. The scheme is known as Liverpool Waters and complements the £4.5 billion, 18m sq ft Wirral Waters redevelopment scheme that received planning approval in August.

The plans for Liverpool Waters have been scaled back from the initial footage of some 20m sq ft. Plans for the controversial, mixed-use hotel and prime Grade A office scheme called the Shanghai Tower have also been revised, lowering the proposed number of storeys down from 60 to 55. If built, the scheme will still be the tallest tower outside London. Discussions with planning watchdogs English Heritage, CABE and Liverpool City Council resulted in building heights being restricted to 15 storeys at the waterside through most of the scheme. Much of the existing office accommodation in Liverpool is in much older, lower-rise property and would be dwarfed by high, multi-storey office towers.

Peel Holdings are aiming to promote the scheme to potential Chinese investors at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai that is due to end later this month. The aim is to promote Liverpool as a new international business destination with the city  becoming the satellite location to service not just the UK but the whole of Europe. It remains to be seen if there is interest in such a large speculative development. As with the Wirral Waters sister development, both schemes have planned development timescales of 20-30 years and are unlikely to get off the ground without significant outside investment.

Cllr Joe Anderson, Labour leader of Liverpool City Council, said: “Liverpool Waters is a hugely ambitious and exciting scheme which has the potential to bring about the transformation of an area which has been in need of regeneration for decades. The scale of the project is breathtaking and it will benefit generations to come. We, along with other agencies, have worked with Peel to help shape this scheme but we do recognise that there are great sensitivities attached to it and there will be full consultation before a decision is made as part of the normal planning procedure to ensure the best possible outcome for the city.”

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles will now decide whether a public inquiry is required.

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