Future of Baltic Triangle set for public consultation

The public are to be asked for their views on a new masterplan for one of the UK’s creative hot-spots.

A report to Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet next Friday (7 February) is recommending a public consultation be launched on the Baltic Triangle’s draft Spatial Regeneration Framework (SRF) – which has been designed to guide the area’s future development.

If approved by cabinet the draft SRF, produced by LDA Design who led the masterplanning for the regeneration of London’s Olympic Park, will go out to a five week consultation beginning on Monday, 17 February.

Key recommendations within the Baltic Triangle’s draft SRF include:

· Enhancing connectivity, specifically pedestrian and cycle routes
· Creating green corridors, linking into the city’s £3.4m Urban GreenUp project
· Protecting open spaces and setting open space design guidelines, including specifically for Baltic Green and Baltic Park
· Encouraging a balanced mix of housing types and homes for families
· Ensuring buildings have active ground floor uses
· The potential for a Conservation Area
· Implementing the Agent of Change policy
· Support for a new rail station

The draft SRF also identifies the following four Areas of Change and sets design guidelines for each that deal with considerations such as scale and design, connectivity, heritage and green infrastructure:

1. Police HQ and Heaps Mill
2. Wapping Goods Terminal
3. Flint Street South
4. Cains Brewery Village and Hill Street Corridor

The Baltic Triangle covers 37.6 hectares of mixed-use land on the southern fringe of the city centre and is home to many digital and creative industries as well as popular night-time economy venues

The area has boomed in the past decade, fuelled by a blossoming creative and digital sector overseen by the Baltic Creative and Baltic Triangle Area CICs – and 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.

Following the consultation and further amends, the draft SRF will return to cabinet to be approved for use in guiding planning applications in the area. It will be endorsed as a Supplementary Planning Document following adoption of Liverpool’s 15 year Local Plan, which is expected to come into force in early 2021.

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 draft plan is shaped. 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 the Liverpool Powerhouse.

Paul Hogan, Director of The Baltic Triangle Area CIC, said: “The Baltic Triangle must not suffer the same fate of the creative sector in east London where people and organisations are being forced out because they can no longer afford to live or work in the very areas that they were instrumental in helping to regenerate. In this context, we see the development of the SRF as very timely and important.

“We applaud the council for taking this bold step as it will support our long term vision to preserve and grow the Baltic Triangle as a place where genuinely affordable and flexible live/work space sit side by side with spaces for social, recreational and creative enterprise.”

Mark Graham, Director – LDA Design, said: “We have worked with local stakeholders and the Council to deliver an SRF that responds to the challenges and celebrates opportunities of the Baltic Triangle. The clear messages from our early stakeholder consultation were to create a more liveable, vibrant and connected area which balanced the dynamic and, in some cases, conflicting needs of its businesses, residents and visitors.

“Our focus on the amazing network of existing and historic streets, using a place-led approach, ensures that development and emerging uses, will be focussed on delivering positive street environments which embrace the character and vibrancy of this amazing place. Importantly this SRF is about ensuring the longevity of the Baltic Triangle as a digital and creative hub, whilst also making it a great place to live – delivering a place where both businesses and residential communities can grow.”