The £5.5 billion scheme to regenerate 60 hectares of dock land in Liverpool has reached an important milestone.
The city council has today (Friday 5 October) officially submitted the ambitious Liverpool Waters plans to the Government.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles MP will now consider the plans and decide if a Public Inquiry will be held. The city council and Peel are hopeful of a positive early response from Mr Pickles.
Liverpool’s planning committee initially granted planning permission for the scheme in March, with a number of conditions – including those relating to timescales, the heights of buildings and phasing of works.
The city council and Peel Holdings have worked together to address these conditions and officers presented an updated report to the planning committee last month, which was approved – paving the way for submission to the Government.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, said: “It’s taken several months of negotiation and discussion with Peel to secure the conditions agreed at the planning committee earlier this year. This is the biggest planning application that the city council has ever considered, running to thousands of pages. It has been extremely important to get the detail of the conditions right before submitting the application to Government.
“I’m delighted we are now delivering these plans which I am confident will fully convey to the Secretary of State our ability to deliver this vitally important regeneration scheme, while protecting our architectural heritage.
“Liverpool Waters has the potential to transform a part of the city that has been in desperate need of investment for decades. The scheme will create thousands of jobs and opportunities for the local population, as well as providing new housing and attracting new businesses and visitors.”
Liverpool Waters involves a comprehensive redevelopment of up to 60 hectares of dock land over a 30 year period. It will create more than 20,000 jobs, 9,000 homes and 3 million square feet of commercial development, and will include hundreds of offices, a cruise liner terminal, hotels, shops, restaurants and leisure facilities.
In March 2011, the Government established four areas in the country as “Enterprise Zones”, including “Mersey Waters” which consists of Peel’s Liverpool Waters and Wirral Waters schemes. The additional support and benefits these zones will receive include a business rates discount for five years, a simplified and improved planning regime and superfast broadband.
Lindsey Ashworth, Development Director at Peel Holdings, said: “This has been an extremely complicated project to get to this stage. There have been no precedents that we can draw from for guidance as it is a totally unique scheme, quite befitting for a unique city.
“We have diligently worked through every word and every sentence with the officers of Liverpool City Council to get the conditions to a stage where all the control mechanisms are in place, but not so over-restrictive that it frightens off potentially interested investors or tenants.
“We are delighted with the final set of documentation which shows that true partnership between the public and private sector exists to the benefit of the people of Liverpool.
“We are confident that our Government will share the same view so we can all move on to create a new addition to this fantastic waterfront and perhaps more importantly create thousands of jobs for local people over many decades.”
Ian Pollitt, Project Manager at Peel Holdings, said: “The issuing of the papers to the Secretary of State is a key milestone for Peel in what has so far been a six year journey to make Liverpool Waters a reality. We believe in the project and most importantly we believe in Liverpool and its people. We have received overwhelming endorsement from the community and local stakeholders as well as unanimous approval from the council’s planning committee to date.
“We firmly believe that Liverpool Waters will drive economic growth in the city region, help strengthen communities and provide job opportunities for generations to come. We are confident that the Secretary of State will see the overwhelming community support for this project.”