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Liverpool flood warnings ignored

Liverpool’s new ferry terminal, designed by Northern Irish practice Hamilton Architects, may be at risk of flooding after planners ignored warnings about the high-risk site, it has emerged.

The £10-million Merseyside terminal, currently under construction, is one of 16 major developments granted planning permission in 2006 and 2007 against the advice of the Environment Agency (EA), the government body responsible for managing flood risk.

Scheme-backers Merseytravel did not submit a flood risk assessment of the scheme to planners even though the site is classed as high risk. Liverpool City Council then ignored the EA’s recommendation that the application be turned down on this basis.

Five more of the major developments listed by the EA are in high risk areas. They include the restoration and reconstruction of the Perran Foundry in Truro, the extension of a factory in Leek, Staffordshire, and several residential developments. Major developments at slightly lower risk included a new primary school in Slough, a business park in Northumberland’s Blyth Valley, and the extension of a shopping centre in Wood Green, London.

Hamilton  Architects has already taken a bashing for its three-storey terminal in front of the historical Three Graces on Liverpool waterfont. Kim Herforth Nielsen of Danish practice 3XN, responsible for the concept design of the neighbouring Museum of Liverpool, spoke out against the design two years ago, angry that he had not been consulted on it.

The EA later received a letter of apology from the council and said Merserytravel has now commissioned a flood risk assessment ahead of the terminal’s opening.

‘The flood risk assessment will ensure that flood resilient measures are incorporated into the final development and that safe evacuation measures to both the public and emergency services are in place prior to the opening of the terminal,’ the EA said in a statement.

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