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Does size matter? You can have your say on Liverpool’s tall buildings and where they should be built

2 years ago

Does size matter? You can have your say on Liverpool’s tall buildings and where they should be built

Liverpool City Council has today launched a consultation on draft guidance which will support where high buildings can be built in the city.

The council has produced a draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to guide the development of tall buildings in a proactive and positive manner.

As part of the process, the council is now asking residents and businesses for their views before adopting it to inform future planning applications for buildings above 15m in height.

People can go online to read the draft Tall Buildings SPD on the council’s website or go to Central Library or the Cunard Building to see a printed copy.

The public can give feedback until Friday 16 September and the council will also be hosting virtual and in-person consultation events.

Once amended after the consultation and then adopted, the new policy will be used to underpin Liverpool’s Local Plan, by setting out in detail what the council considers to be appropriate in terms of building height in the city.

This draft policy provides design guidance that complements the National Design Guide and Model Design Code. It also has a focus on the environmental impact on surroundings through to ensuring the protection of the historic character of its neighbourhood and other buildings nearby.

Six locations in and around the city centre have been identified where clusters of taller buildings may be appropriate.

They are:

  1. Liverpool Waters
  2. Commercial District
  3. Leeds Street / Pall Mall
  4. Central Station
  5. Paddington Village
  6. Southern fringe of Baltic Triangle.

The draft SPD has mapped current developments and sets out guidelines for appropriate heights for new planning applications in these clusters. The policy also provides guidance based on nine core principles covering issues such as quality, sustainability, environment and economic growth.

The draft policy also includes the recommendation that schemes need to pass four tests by demonstrating:

  1. A clear purpose and role for the tall building to directly support regeneration
  2. The proposed height is appropriate to the role or function of the locality
  3. It positively contributes to an area and its scale is appropriate to its surroundings
  4. The impacts on sensitivities have been fully considered.

The responses received during the consultation period will inform the final version of the Tall Buildings policy. If adopted by the council’s Cabinet as an SPD, it will carry weight in the decision-making process as a material consideration.

How to have your say

People can provide feedback on the draft SPD by:

There will be two virtual consultation events (which people can register to the email above) on:

  • Wednesday, 17 August – 10am to noon
  • Wednesday, 17 August – 2-4pm

And an in-person event on:

  • Thursday, 8 September – 1.30-3.30pm in the Cunard Building, access at Brunswick Street.

Councillor Sarah Doyle, Cabinet Member for Economy and Development, said:

“Liverpool’s skyline is world famous and its development needs to be sensitively handled. We need to ensure its historic character and charm are maintained, whilst allowing for economic growth and job creation.

“This a very timely document as we are all thinking about the future and function of cities in a post-Covid world and how developments can provide growth for the future, without impacting on climate change and net-zero ambitions.

“Maintaining that balance between environment and regeneration runs throughout the heart of this policy and all the discussions which have led up to its drafting.

“I’ve no doubt the aims of the policy will stimulate more debate throughout this consultation and we want to hear from as many people as possible to ensure this policy works to the benefit of the city and its people.

“For the past century and more tall buildings have been an advert for economic prowess, and as we all know in Liverpool can become the symbol of the city and help shape its identity.

“We want to ensure our next generation of tall buildings will have a long-term purpose and can instil pride when we look up at them – both for how they look and what they offer.

“This draft policy sets out clear principles around design, quality and sustainability and what the city expects from developers to meet those standards.

“The Spine in Paddington Village is a prime example and shows we can deliver world-class buildings fit for the 21st century and I’m confident the city can curate and foster many more in the years ahead.”


Samantha Campbell, Liverpool City Council’s chief planning officer, said:

“The draft supplementary planning document sets out a framework, with a clear objective to guide the development of tall buildings in a positive and proactive manner.

“Tall buildings can play an essential part of Liverpool’s growth and regeneration. Indeed, Liverpool has a great tradition of building tall, notably with the Liver Building on the Waterfront and sky scraper construction used at Oriel Chambers, Water Street.

“The SPD is part of a suite of placemaking documents, including the newly adopted Local Plan, which seek to secure the best possible development in terms of location, quality and design to further enhance the very special and unique character of Liverpool.”


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