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Broadway Malyan on a roll on Merseyside

Broadway Malyan Architects is set to dominate the shores of the River Mersey with a massive £4 billion scheme in Wirral, directly opposite its controversial project for the site of the doomed Fourth Grace.

The project, called Wirral Waters, will include the construction of iconic skyscrapers in a redevelopment of the Wallasey and Birkenhead docklands, which sit opposite Broadway Malyan's current project on Mann Island.

The scheme is being backed by developer Peel Holdings, which was responsible for Salford Quays, the Trafford Centre and Liverpool's John Lennon airport.

Peel owner John Whittaker held a secret meeting with local politicians on Tuesday night to go through the plans, who claimed it was the best presentation they had seen and - despite the likelihood of a public enquiry - they hope it will get the green light.

Conservative councillor Chris Blakeley said: 'The vision is amazing, and I would hope something like this could be delivered. It's a tremendous plan and programme - long-term development.

'Peel's track record is tremendous. I believe they could deliver it and over a period of time it would bring a tremendous boost to Wirral. But without a doubt it will end up at a public inquiry.'

Other major developments on the Wirral have fallen foul of public inquiries in the past, most notably Neptune's £75 million New Brighton scheme.

However, unlike the New Brighton site, which was designated with heritage status in some areas, councillors believe the docklands are far more likely to receive planning permission.

Liberal Democrat councillor Stuart Kelly said: 'It's an enormous piece of land. The impact this development would have in terms of regeneration, in attracting investment is potentially enormous.'

by Richard Vaughan

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