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Supporters hit back at EH over Liverpool tower

The backers behind Woods Bagot's 38-storey skyscraper scheme in central Liverpool have lashed out at English Heritage (EH) for persuading the council to turn its back on the project.

Central Regeneration, the developer masterminding the £160 million mixed-use Central Village scheme, said it has been left shocked and 'disappointed' by EH's criticisms of the project - which appeared on ajplus yesterday ( Woods Bagot Liverpool tower mauled by EH).

Developer Central Regeneration claims EH's view has caused Liverpool City Council's planning department 'to review its previous support for the scheme' and recommend its refusal - even though Liverpool Vision and LUDCAP, the city's design advisory panel, continue to support the project.

The North West-based company is also worried that EH's objections, in particular concerns over the height of the main residential tower and its impact on the Ropewalks Conservation Area, could mean the scheme will end up going to public enquiry.

Central Regeneration director Richard Peel said: 'We have been in consultation with Liverpool City Council for more than two and a half years and are disappointed by their unexpected change of heart.

'We thought we had established what was appropriate for the site early into our discussions and have proceeded on that basis, so it's surprising to see the council change their position at the last minute.'

He added: 'While we understand the pressure EH is exerting on the council, we would hope that their leadership role in the planning process would ensure that what was originally agreed as appropriate would continue to be so.'

It is understood EH now wants to meet with the developers and the council to discuss 'an alternative scheme with a less intrusive tall-building element.'

by Richard Waite

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