4 October 2010
Peel has today submitted the largest planning application in the UK named Liverpool Waters, a redevelopment of part of Liverpool Docks comprising over 14 million square feet of mixed use floor space on 150 acres.
An investment of £5.5 Billion Liverpool Waters proposes the regeneration of former and currently disused dockland in North Liverpool to create a city central world-class, high-quality and mixed use waterfront quarter.
Liverpool Waters is the sister scheme of Wirral Waters located on the opposite side of the River Mersey which combined are known locally as the “Peel Waters” project forming a magnificent visual gateway to the Northwest. Peel Waters is the largest and most ambitious regeneration project of its kind anywhere in the UK at over 30 million square feet. It represents an overall investment of £10 Billion and will transform the economic fortunes of the Northwest, creating tens of thousands of jobs spanning some 30 years.
Lindsey Ashworth, Development Director at Peel said; “It is a fantastic and almost unbelievable achievement to get a scheme of this scale and nature to a point where a planning application can be submitted. With the amount of people involved in the process I have to say that it’s been very difficult to get a general consensus of agreement but we have managed this because all the stakeholders are proud of Liverpool and want this project to be delivered and therefore have made massive efforts to get it to this stage. I really do appreciate everybody’s efforts, motivation and willingness to explore innovative ways of finding solutions where no precedents exist. It has been a very costly exercise and there is much more to be done, but Peel believes that Liverpool can be a greater City and that Liverpool Waters will be a major part of its future and that it will all be worth the effort in the end”.
This planning application follows the submission and subsequent approval in August this year by Wirral Council of the East Float part of the Wirral Waters scheme, the regeneration of Birkenhead Docks. That occasion marked a historical “shaking hands across the water” by the Leader of Liverpool City Council Joe Anderson and Leader of Wirral Council Jeff Green, giving both schemes their mutual seal of support and approval. Of course the sheer scale of Wirral Waters has meant that the final decision to approve is for the Secretary of State and a decision is being awaited as to whether he should agree with the recommendation of Wirral Council or subject it to the delay of a public inquiry.
Liverpool Waters will be a spectacular mix of buildings for all uses including offices, over 9000 new homes, a cultural building and a new cruise terminal as well as supporting uses such as local shops and restaurants. The scheme will also include the 55 storey Shanghai Tower which will be the tallest UK building outside London. The development works in harmony with the waterfront throughout, making use of this natural element and bringing the docks back to life.
Global Infrastructure Consultancy WYG has been leading the planning application under the direction of the Peel Group. Paul Grover, Regional Director from WYG said: “As an award-winning consultancy, we have a track record of proving expert services on projects all over the world. The submission of the outline application for Liverpool Waters marks a significant step in securing the economic future of the city. We have been leading the planning process since the scheme’s inception in 2007 and have experienced overwhelming positive support for the scheme, making us proud to be associated with this transformational project.”
Peel’s vision for Liverpool Waters, supported by the continuously improving Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Liverpool Port, is to create a new international business destination that will attract investment from around the world and become the satellite location to service not just the UK but the whole of Europe. It will be an extension of the already well-established commercial core of Liverpool City. Liverpool Waters will be a series of mixed use neighbourhoods all with different characters and exciting building designs and blends of materials so that those who live, work or just visit the area will enjoy different experiences as they move around.
Mark Chadwick, Chief Executive of Professional Liverpool commented; “Professional Liverpool have been a strong supporter of Peel’s overall vision for Liverpool for some time. The expansion of Liverpool John Lennon Airport and improvements to the Port naturally leads onto redevelopment of the city centre along the waterfront. Liverpool Waters offers Liverpool and the region the opportunity to improve its image and enhance its emerging international status as a leading UK business investment location and we therefore fully support the Liverpool Waters project to help all our common goals.”
The Liverpool Waters scheme is the result of conscientious work with Liverpool City Council, English Heritage, CABE and the local community plus a range of partners and stakeholders over the last three years. Owing to the nature of the Liverpool Waters site, which in part occupies Liverpool’s World Heritage Site, particular attention and time has been spent perfecting aspects of the scheme to make sure that the historical features are conserved and restored, are in a more appropriate setting and that these parts of the site retain the essential elements of their original dockland landscape. An example of this is the reopening of the historic Stanley Dock Bascule Bridge and road in August which Peel spent several months restoring and repairing.
Councillor Joe Anderson, 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.”
A Division of Ian Pollitt Project Manager of Liverpool Waters commented; “Having worked very closely with Liverpool City Council, English Heritage, CABE, Government Office North West, The Mersey Partnership and Liverpool Vision over the past 4 years on this exciting project, it is credit to all involved that we have now submitted the outline planning application for Liverpool Waters. This is a fantastic opportunity for Liverpool and the City Region and we look forward to continuing such a positive working relationship with the City Council and the other agencies over the coming years”.
It is Peel’s belief that Liverpool Docks have huge potential in so many ways and Liverpool Waters together with Wirral Waters will completely transform the way the western end of the Northwest goes about its business. A holistic approach with private and public sector working together will help to redress the imbalance of the region and create what could be described as a new super region that will further strengthen the Northwest as a destination for international business and as a place to live.
On this note Peel have been helping to promote the Northwest and the Peel Waters projects in Shanghai since May through their Lead Sponsorship of the Liverpool pavilion and will be sending a delegation to Shanghai to coincide with the World Expo ‘Liverpool Day’ on 16 October. By creating their own partnerships Peel hope to further strengthen Liverpool’s ties with Shanghai, opening up the Northwest to many more opportunities be they education, business or tourism.
Mike Taylor, Deputy CEO of Liverpool Vision remarked; “This is great news for Liverpool and Peel Holdings. Undoubtedly one of the most significant, impressive and attractive investment opportunities being promoted at World Expo in Shanghaiis Liverpool Waters. The scale and potential of what will be the UK’s largest regeneration scheme is of huge interest to potential investors at home and overseas and with Peel and Liverpool City Council united behind a shared vision and ambition for the City a successful planning application will ensure economic growth and the creation of jobs on a massive scale”.
Caption: How the proposed Shanghai Tower would look