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Fears of Liverpool 'bomb site' as scheme delivery concerns grow

Liverpool's business community has cast doubt on whether this £130 million Princes Dock development in Liverpool by Scott Brownrigg can be finished on time.

The warning came just days after the crucial waterside regeneration project New World Square was submitted for planning last week.

This threat of failure will add to fears that Liverpool will resemble a 'bomb-site' when its year as European Capital of Culture comes round in 2008.

Frank McKenna, chairman of Downtown Liverpool in Business, is worried the scheme will not be able to cope with an imminent national drain on construction resources caused by London's on-going effort to host the 2012 Olympics.

He said: 'There are concerns as we gear towards 2008 that Liverpool will look like a bomb-site when the year of culture is running, a landmark year for the city. One of the increasing pressures on the regions is going to be London's Olympic success.

'There's a drain on the construction industry to find the skills necessary to complete these schemes.'

New World Square will be located on one of Liverpool's most prominent waterfront sites and, according to developer Lead Asset Strategies, will be a 'key gateway connecting the Princes Dock development area to the Pier Head and the wider Mersey riverfront'.

Key elements of the new development are to include an international hotel and business centre; 299 apartments and 60,000m 2of leisure and retail space. Its centrepiece will be a new public square comprised of a series of water features, pedestrian islands and bridges.

The developer hopes that planning permission will be granted before the end of the year and hopes to complete the scheme by Christmas 2007.

by Rob Sharp

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