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Chair's vote clears Broadway Malyan's Mann Island project

Broadway Malyan has finally succeeded in winning the green light for its contentious Mann Island proposals in Liverpool - but only by the narrowest of margins.

The £120 million mixed-use scheme, which will sit on the site of Will Alsop's doomed Fourth Grace project, was given the thumbs-up yesterday lunchtime (7 November) by Liverpool City Council, ending weeks of speculation about the future of the development.

However, the practice's proposals had divided the city's planning committee and it needed the casting vote of chairwoman Doreen Jones to give the scheme the seal of approval.

It was the third time Broadway Malyan's wedge-shaped, granite-clad development had come before the planning committee.

On the two previous occasions councillors had opted to postpone any final decision until they had seen the report from UNESCO's World Heritage Committee into the possible impact of the development on the city's historic waterfront ( Plans for Fourth Grace to face major World Heritage review).

Fears had been growing among conservationists that Broadway Malyan's plans to create 379 homes as well as 13,000m 2of office space in three new buildings - together with 3XN's controversial Museum of Liverpool building - could jeopardise Liverpool's World Heritage status.

In a provisional report from the UNESCO inspectors, planners were urged to be cautious in respect of 'the start of works for the National Museum of Liverpool Life and the residential and commercial buildings of Mann Island.'

A construction timetable for the Mann Island site is not yet known.

by Richard Waite

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