The Spine in Paddington Village
The Spine in Paddington Village

Liverpool to consider new Tall Buildings policy

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Liverpool City Council is set to consider a new policy on the design and location of new tall buildings in the city.

A report to the Council’s Cabinet next Tuesday (17 October) is recommending the adoption of a Tall Buildings Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) which will be used to shape development in a proactive and positive manner.

The guidance within the SPD will ensure that all tall building proposals make a positive contribution to Liverpool’s skyline, distinctiveness and image, the city’s growth and the delivery of high quality and sustainable places.

On adoption of the document, which has been informed by significant public engagement, it will be used in the decision-making process for all future planning applications for proposed tall buildings.

The new guidance, which sets out in detail what the Council considers to be appropriate in terms of height, design and location, will supplement Liverpool’s Local Plan and will help guide the Council’s forthcoming new waterfront strategy.

As well as providing design guidance that complements the National Design Guide, this SPD ensures that future tall buildings will also protect the city’s historic character, heritage assets and city’s unique and world renowned image.  

Five locations in and around the city centre have been identified where clusters of taller buildings could be appropriate. They are:

  1. Liverpool Waters
  2. Commercial District
  3. Leeds Street / Pall Mall
  4. Paddington Village
  5. Southern fringe of Baltic Triangle.

The Tall Buildings SPD has also mapped current developments and sets out guidelines for appropriate heights for new planning applications in these clusters.

It also provides guidance based on nine core principles covering issues such as quality, sustainability, environment and economic growth.

The policy also states that schemes will need to pass four tests by demonstrating:

  1. A clear purpose and role for the tall building to directly support regeneration
  2. The proposed height is appropriate to the role or function of the locality
  3. It positively contributes to an area and its scale is appropriate to its surroundings
  4. The impacts on sensitivities have been fully considered.

Councillor Nick Small, Cabinet Member for Economy and Development, said: “Liverpool’s skyline is world famous and its development needs to be sensitively handled. We need to ensure its historic character and charm are maintained, whilst allowing for economic growth and job creation.

“This a very timely document as it will help guide and shape our new waterfront strategy and set a clear path as to how developments can provide growth for the future, without impacting on climate change and net-zero ambitions.

“Maintaining that balance between environment and regeneration runs throughout the heart of this policy and it has set out clear principles around design, quality and sustainability and what the city expects from developers to meet those standards.

“We want to ensure our next generation of tall buildings will have a long-term purpose and can instil pride when we look up at them – both for how they look – and what they offer.

“The Spine in Paddington Village is a prime example and shows we can deliver world-class buildings fit for the 21st century and I’m confident the city can curate and foster many more in the years ahead.”

Samantha Campbell, Liverpool City Council’s Director of Planning and Building Control, said: “This Tall Buildings SPD sets out a framework, with a clear objective to guide the development of tall buildings in a positive and proactive manner.

“Tall buildings can play an essential part of Liverpool’s growth and regeneration. Indeed, Liverpool has a great tradition of building tall, notably with the Liver Building on the Waterfront and sky scraper construction used at Oriel Chambers, Water Street.

“The SPD is part of a suite of placemaking documents, including the recently adopted Local Plan, which seek to secure the best possible development in terms of location, quality and design to further enhance the very special and unique character of Liverpool.” 

Liverpool Waterfront