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High-rise bonanza as Liverpool Council approves five new towers

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Liverpool City Council has approved plans for four towers by Falconer Chester Hall and a 27-storey skyscraper by Hodder + Partners

Falconer Chester Hall won the go-ahead for two separate high-rise schemes in the City. The first, a £250 million development on the corner of Leeds Street and Pall Mall at the north end of the city’s business district, features a trio of towers ranging in height from 27 to 39 storeys.

The second, part of the Bevington Bush development in Gardners Row, includes three residential blocks ranging in height from nine to 19 storeys, providing 381 new homes.

Backed by Liverpool-based Elliot Group, the Leeds Street skyscrapers will contain 1,002 flats and a spa, along with 929m² of commercial space.

The planning officer’s report described the development as ‘iconic’, claiming it would ‘positively contribute to Liverpool’s skyline’ and transform a neglected area of Liverpool.

Historic England did not consider the scheme to require its involvement as it is outside of Liverpool’s World Heritage Site (WHS) and Buffer Zone. However, the heritage body has referred the application to the Department for Culture Media and Sports.

Work is expected to start on site on both the Falconer Chester Hall schemes in autumn this year, with a completion date of autumn 2019.

Also approved was a a 27-storey tower in Old Hall Street by Hodder + Partners, known as Ovatus 1, containing 168 flats.

The proposal precedes a further set of plans by Hodder + Partners for a separate 48-storey tower in Old Hall Street, known as Ovatus 2, which are expected to be submitted this summer.

If built, the Ovatus 2 will be the tallest building in Liverpool and provide 540 flats. The earliest completion date for both Ovatus 1 and 2 is 2019.  

Hodder + Partners director Stephen Hodder told the AJ: ’The building, its height and form, reinforces its gateway location. The materials, while necessarily robust, seek to capture and reflect the beautiful light in the estuary.

’Additionally, consideration of the public realm has been paramount so as to support pedestrian connections from Leeds Street to the city centre.’ 

The site for both towers is within the buffer zone boundary of Liverpool’s WHS. 

However, the planning report states that the interim head of planning was satisfied that the scheme is of a ’high-quality and modern design’, which will develop a prominent site without harming the setting of any of the identified listed buildings nor cause harm to the outstanding universal value of the WHS.

The report said Historic England was consulted over the application, but was advised that it did not fall within its remit and the body does not intend to comment.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Geoff Williams

    Geoff Williams4 January, 2018 4:40 pm
    The danger of fire in high rise structures is always imminent although we like to think they are a rare occurrence. Fighting fire in congested City locations and fighting fires internally above 7 floors is a distinct hazard. Maintenance of the electrical supply is paramount. Experts in Germany maintain that up to 40% of fires Worldwide have an electrical cable origin. The use of a 2hour fire rated cable, preferably MICC, should be mandatory.
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