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Sky-high ambition bound to cause controversy


Not all residents of the existing Beetham Tower in Liverpool are against the recently approved West Tower (AJ 28.4.05); many of us are in favour of the proposal.

You use the controversy over several skyscrapers as evidence that Liverpool's regeneration is 'stuttering'. Am I to assume that your correspondent would expect 40-storey and 50-storey developments close to a World Heritage Site to be uncontroversial?

Liverpool's regeneration is already achieving a critical mass in terms of quantity.

The great battle now is to raise expectations and to demand the highest quality of new architecture, while safeguarding the city's unique townscape. With this in mind, developers such as Grosvenor and public authorities such as the city council are encouraging wide participation and debate.

The scale of development is astonishing, more controversy is inevitable, and the battle for design quality is ongoing. Could the AJ join in, rather than just heckling from the sidelines?

Perhaps it's time for a special issue focusing on the city as a whole, or on the Paradise Project in particular.

Trevor Skempton, Beetham Tower, Old Hall Street, Liverpool

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