Chapman Taylor’s controversial £5.5 billion Liverpool Waters scheme is to go to the Secretary of State for a final decision ‘within weeks’
Initially approved by the local authority in March, the huge, high-rise project north of the city’s famous Three Graces had been expected to go before Communities and Local Government secretary Eric Pickles earlier this year.
However the waterfont scheme for developer Peel was never referred to central government and on Tuesday (18 September) Liverpool’s planning committee reconsidered new conditions relating to conservation and technical aspects of the proposals.
Although English Heritage repeated its earlier fears about the potentially damaging impact of the development on the Outstanding Universal Value of Liverpool’s World Heritage Site, councillors rubberstamped the new conditions.
It will now by up to Pickles to determine whether a public inquiry should be held into the ‘50-year project’ which would feature 50-storey skyscrapers or to allow the scheme to go forward as submitted.
Previous story (AJ 17.09.2012)
English Heritage warns Liverpool Waters could ‘harm’ area
Liverpool’s planning committee is to vote again tomorrow (18 September) on Chapman Taylor’s controversial £5.5 billion Liverpool Waters scheme to approve new conditions
Despite concerns raised by English Heritage (EH) at the time, the massive scheme for developer Peel was initially approved back in March 2012 (see AJ 06.03.12) and had been expected to go before Communities and Local Government secretary Eric Pickles for a final decision.
That referal was never made, as the council and Peel thrashed out a number of planning conditions including ‘consultation with Natural England over conservation, detailed negotiations over the technical aspects of the planning conditions and more clarity about how the conditions will operate’.
Liverpool City Council has recommended that the committee reaffirms its original resolution to grant planning permission and that ‘the application be referred to the Secretary of State on the basis of the amended conditions and draft s106’.
However, English Heritage has not changed its stance on the potentially ‘damaging’ skyscraper scheme, the potential impact of which provoked UNESCO to slap the city on its heritage ‘in danger’ list earlier this summer (see AJ 27.06.12).
The planning application largely fails to harness what is special about this important historic site
The organisation said the ‘potential benefits’ of the project, which includes 9,000 homes, offices, shops, a cruise terminal, cultural buildings and restaurants, had not been ‘satisfactorily secured and the revised conditions [were] muddled, badly drafted and insufficiently precise’.
A spokesman said: ‘English Heritage fully supports the potential of regenerating the Central Docks and the huge benefits this could bring.
‘We do not believe that it is necessary for the benefits of Liverpool Waters, as proposed, to come at the expense of the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site. The Liverpool Waters planning application, in its current form, largely fails to harness what is special about this important historic site and could cause substantial harm to the historic environment.
‘We had hoped that the detailed design would be managed with appropriate planning conditions to mitigate the harm, to some extent. However, we do not believe the conditions, as currently drafted, will achieve this or provide adequate assurances regarding the detailed design of the scheme.’
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