04 March 2013

5.5 billion pound Liverpool Waters scheme given go-ahead by government

By John Ramos

The Mayor of Liverpool has welcomed the news that the Government has given the go-ahead to the £5.5 billion pound Liverpool Waters scheme which aims to regenerate 60 hectares of dock land and create tens of thousands of jobs.

The Communities Secretary Eric Pickles MP has approved the ambitious scheme despite concerns it might harm Liverpool Waterfront's world heritage status. Following careful consideration of the plans, he has decided that the scheme can proceed without the need for a Public Inquiry.

It means Peel Holdings and the city council can now officially begin work on the plans close to Regent Road.

Lindsey Ashworth, development director of Peel says the work of transforming the derelict docks site could start as early as next year.

The project claims it will :
• Create more than 20,000 jobs
• Deliver 9,000 homes and 3 million square feet of commercial development,
• Include hundreds of offices, a cruise liner terminal, hotels, shops, restaurants and leisure facilities.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, said: “This is fantastic news for Liverpool. I’m absolutely delighted that the Secretary of State shares the confidence we have in our ability to deliver this vitally important regeneration scheme, while protecting our architectural heritage.

“Today’s announcement marks the start of a new era for Liverpool, paving to way to us delivering a world class development which will transform a part of the city that has been in desperate need of investment for decades.

“Liverpool Waters will create thousands of jobs and opportunities for local people, as well as providing new housing and attracting new businesses and visitors.

“It’s a huge boost for our city and yet more evidence that despite the recession, regeneration is forging ahead here. We can now look forward to the plans moving forward on this once-in-a-lifetime scheme which will bring huge, lasting benefits to future generations in this city.

“It’s vital that Peel delivers these plans in a way which meets the conditions set out by the planning committee and we’ll be working closely with them to make sure this is achieved.”

Liverpool’s planning committee initially granted planning permission for the scheme in March 2012, with a number of conditions – including those relating to timescales, the heights of buildings and phasing of works.

The city council and Peel Holdings worked together to address these conditions, before officially submitting the plans to the Government in October.

In March 2011, the Government established four areas in the country as “Enterprise Zones”, including “Mersey Waters” which consists of Peel’s Liverpool Waters and Wirral Waters schemes. The additional support and benefits these zones will receive include a business rates discount for five years, a simplified and improved planning regime and superfast broadband.

The go-ahead for the Liverpool Waters scheme adds further momentum to regeneration in the city, with a recent audit finding that hundreds of millions of pounds worth of projects are active in the city, despite the recession.

Figures show that there is £800 million worth of ongoing regeneration projects in the city. Major schemes on-site include four new hotels, the refurbishment of the Cunard Building, the rebuilding of the Everyman Theatre, the restoration of Liverpool Central Library which re-opens in May, three major health schemes and 2,515 new homes, including the £25 million Anfield Village development.

More information about Liverpool Waters is available at www.liverpoolwaters.co.uk

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