Liverpool City Council has appointed an award-winning team of urban designers and planners to create a new masterplan for one of the UK’s creative hot-spots.
LDA Design, who led the masterplanning for the regeneration of London’s Olympic Park, is to draft a Spatial Regeneration Framework (SRF) to guide the future development of the Baltic Triangle area, which lies just to the south of Liverpool city centre.
The Baltic Triangle area, which covers 37.6 hectares of mixed-use land, is home to many digital and creative industries as well as popular night-time economy venues, many of which are located in the historical built fabric.
As a result of the area’s proximity to the city centre and its new popularity – fuelled by a blossoming creative and digital sector overseen by the Baltic Creative and Baltic Triangle – it has attracted significant levels of development. Since January 2012, £128 million has been invested in new developments with a further £62 million currently on site.
However, the area has also seen significant growth in residential development over the past decade – with a doubling in its population – and there has been an ever-increasing development pressure on the remaining available land.
The draft SRF, which will include an expanded area incorporating Cains Brewery and surrounding neighbourhood south of Parliament Street, will go out to public consultation in the summer and once adopted by the council would be used as a Supplementary Planning Document to inform any planning applications in the area.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “The development of the Baltic Triangle is one of Liverpool’s great success stories of the past decade and this new masterplan will help guide and ensure this growth continues for the decades to come.
“Consultation with businesses and residents will be crucial to how this plan is shaped and I’m delighted we’ve appointed an internationally respected team of designers and planners who value community led design to oversee this process.
“The area’s position as one of Britain’s fastest-growing digital and creative hubs is something the city takes great pride in and we want to nurture this to ensure its future as a major engine in our economy.”
Once adopted the SPD would be incorporated in to Liverpool’s 15 year Local Plan, which has set out key planning issues to support the city’s creative cluster:
Supporting and encouraging further investment into creative and digital industries
Balancing conflicts between night time uses and residential amenity
Ensuring a sustainable residential neighbourhood within the L1 area
Improving connectivity within the area and with other parts of the City Centre
Bringing derelict land and vacant and underused buildings back into use
LDA have also been responsible for the masterplanning of Plymouth city centre and Cambridge University’s new museums site, as well as delivering world leading public realm schemes at Battersea Power Station and Wembley Park.
Mark Graham, Director of LDA, said: “The Baltic Triangle is renowned as one of the most creative and independent districts in the UK, with a growing global reputation, and has seen huge growth over recent years. The complexity of the place brings significant challenges and opportunities, this work will set a framework that outlines the positive future growth of the area. We are delighted to be part of it.
It has been clear from the outset that the community of the Baltic Triangle must sit at the heart of this work and play their part in shaping its future, we will therefore be working collaboratively to deliver a shared vision for the area. This aligns perfectly with LDA Design’s landscape-led approach to masterplanning which places people at the centre of design process. We look forward to working closely with local residents, businesses and landowners within the Baltic Triangle.”
Mark Lawler, Managing Director of Baltic Creative C.I.C, commented: “Baltic Creative C.I.C (a co-founder of the Baltic Triangle Area company) are delighted to see Liverpool City Council bring this important spatial framework forward.In order to protect all that is great about the Baltic Triangle Area, it is vital that this new Supplementary Planning Document supports and underpins the continued growth of the Baltic as “THE” place for creative, digital and independent industries in Liverpool. The area is now recognised nationally and internationally as an exemplar regeneration model through Creative and Digital Sector support. This spatial framework needs to recognise and protect the work of the last 10 years and support the sector’s continued growth in Baltic ensuring these industries through future planning approvals are supported forever.”
Liam Kelly, Chair – Baltic Triangle Area CIC, said: “The Baltic Triangle Area C.I.C welcomes the work being done to produce the SRF. We’ve seen extraordinary growth of the area over the last decade. Support from documents like this will see us through the next decade. The Baltic area had three million visits in 2018 and that’s expected to grow in 2019. That growth needs to be sustainable and the continued regeneration needs to share in the vision and values of the area which has defined a nationally and internationally recognised district for creativity and experiences. We’re lucky to have such a vibrant example of culture and creativity in Liverpool and this document will help ensure it’s there for everyone to enjoy.”
LDA Design will be supported by an expert team of consultants including property consultancy Jones Lang LeSalle, international engineering firm Mott Macdonald, heritage specialist Robert Bevan and the digital marketing and placemaking specialists DS.Emotion.