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Liverpool Waters gets unanimous thumbs up

World Heritage status worries dismissed by Joe Anderson

Written by . Published on March 6th 2012.

Liverpool Waters gets unanimous thumbs up

PEEL Holdings'  £5.5 billion Liverpool Waters scheme has been unanimously approved by Liverpool City Council's planning committee.

The approval of an outline application will now be referred to the Government. 

The decision, which was given the green light by 10 votes to 0, will throw into jeopardy the Mersey waterfront's status as a World Heritage site, cultural campaigners warned. 

The vote came despite objections from English Heritage which accused the city council of "significantly downplaying the adverse impacts of the development on Liverpool's outstanding heritage". 

Taj Mahal

The Liverpool Waters development, if it actually happens, would include a cruise liner terminal, thousands of apartments and the tallest UK building outside London in a project that would take 40 years to complete. 

UNESCO inspectors had warned because of the sheer scale of the development, over 60 hectares of north docks, approval could lead to the removal of the city from its WHS list which also includes the Taj Mahal and the Pyramids. 

But Council Leader Joe Anderson dismissed the arguments, saying Liverpool could, in effect, have its cake and eat it. 

"Everybody – including the committee - is well aware of the concerns about heritage, but we can have the strikingly modern, while retaining our world heritage status. I have never regarded this as being either, or," he said in a council statement. 

“With the safeguards the planning committee has insisted on, we can have Liverpool Waters living comfortably alongside the World Heritage Site." 

He added: If this application had been rejected then we would have been left with huge stretches of derelict dockland cheek-by-jowl with our World Heritage site.” 

Liverpool City Council’s planning committee has granted outline planning permission for Peel Holdings Liverpool Waters scheme. The permission is subject to the signing of a legal agreement and has to be referred to the Government who will decide if a public inquiry will be held. 

Peel supremo Lindsay Ashworth has already warned that if the Government does call in the scheme, the company will walk away. He repeated this today, saying, “There is no Plan B”.

*Larry Neild's analysis from the Town Hall meeting will be published later.

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9 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Queenie S. CastleMarch 6th 2012.

Well it's just what we need, thousands more empty flats in old-fashioned tower blocks.

Rookie Wookie HollowMarch 6th 2012.

You won't be around to find out if goes ahead, as the article says. Red herring all this. Now Peel have planning permission, the land that was worth nowt is worth zillions.

Michael BreslinMarch 8th 2012.

Peel Holdings have stated that if it goes to a public enquiry, it is likely that they will walk away from the project. This would undoubtedly delight UNESCO and the other heritage groups but the downside will be that the area north of Princes Dock would remain an unsightly wasteland for many more years to come. Therefore Liverpool Waters has to go ahead for the economic benefit of the whole of Merseyside.

Calum McGMarch 8th 2012.

Progress for the sake of it, you mean?

Reader XxxMarch 9th 2012.

If they don't like the public enquiry, does that mean they have something to hide. No longer are we Liverpool, we are now Liverpeel xxx

MickeyDrippin'March 11th 2012.

Too much anti-development sentiment creeping in on this and other forums. Do the objectors want a continuation of dereliction, coal heaps and mounds of scrap metal? How about some alternative ideas!

Emma PeelMarch 12th 2012.

The main objections are not anti development, although that seems to be the easiest charge to make in the attempts to discredit people who after being asked to, voice an opinion that is in any way contrary to what Peel wants.

The main objectors that I see, are all in favour of development but, sustainable and sympathetic development, not a cartoon imaginary scheme over 50 years that will most likely never happen. And we risk throwing away World Heritage Status against a threatening attitude from Peel who at the moment have secured and achieved one thing for the site. Namnely, that by getting planning permission they have greatly increased the value of their huge land bank without so much as shifting a pebble. And they say nothing will happen until the recession has ended.

They don't know what they are bulding or why they are building it and have no idea of the demand for these apartments and office blocks.

Any walk through the city will show a few thousand empty city apartments and offices and we have already been told that we are beyond saturation point for hotel accommodation.

Beyond that, the design for the buildings appears to have no class whatsoever. It is simply boxes of varying heights. A fantastic site like this and they want to build Milton Keynes on it. We have seen enough sub-standard design being thrown up around the cityand even had windows crashing onto the pavement. The Museum of Liverpool Life is a joke judging by the continuing legal wrangles of poor design, stupid mistakes and cheap materials, and even before all of that, they ignored the covenant over view rights and had to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation.

If we aim to be a world class city, then how about some world class architecture and construction? And how about some proper published research on the sustainabillity and the alleged investors?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
MickeyDrippin'March 12th 2012.

OK, the objectors may not be against development of the central docks area but most of them seem to be anti-Peel. Perhaps, the heritage groups should appoint their own architect who might come up with some sympathetic designs, which could then be presented to Peel. However, those groups will probably say it is not their job to come up with building designs only to object to those they do not like.
In my opinion, the only alternatives to the Peel plan would be:
1. Peel to sell the land between the Pier Head and Huskisson Dock but even any plans by another developer may not be to the liking of the heritage groups.
2. Build replicas of all the 19th century warehouses and and open a heritage park.
3. Leave the land as it is at present - i.e. undeveloped.

MickeyDrippin'March 14th 2012.

If the heritage lobby is not against development, perhaps they should come up with some worthwhile suggestions of their own. For example, what style of buildings do they want to see and who should occupy them? If they have NO alternatives ideas for Liverpool Waters what is the point of objecting?

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