TEAM APPOINTED TO MASTERPLAN LIVERPOOL’S COMMERCIAL DISTRICT
A team of regeneration experts have been appointed to create a new vision for the future of Liverpool’s commercial district.
Liverpool City Council has appointed a highly experienced team led by Arup to produce a Spatial Regeneration Framework (SRF) that would seek to develop the district further, identify opportunities to attract new commercial investment, including the large Pall Mall development site, and enhance the connection to wider development opportunities including Peel Land and Property’s £5bn Liverpool Waters scheme.
The SRF would also include the proposing of design guidelines, including a strategy for potential public realm improvements and enhanced connectivity across the Commercial District and to surrounding parts of the City Centre, to create a high quality and world class business environment that reflects its location within the World Heritage Site.
Arup will lead the project providing strategic planning advice, along with shedkm (masterplanners and urban design), Rob Burns (heritage) and Worthington Owen (property).
Garry Banks, Arup Director and Liverpool Officer Leader, said:
“THE TEAM WE HAVE BROUGHT TOGETHER TO DELIVER THIS STRATEGICALLY IMPORTANT PIECE OF WORK HAVE A LONG AND SUCCESSFUL TRACK RECORD OF WORKING IN THE CITY. THIS PROJECT MUST ENABLE THE PROACTIVE DEVELOPMENT OF THE COMMERCIAL DISTRICT IN A STRATEGIC AND COHESIVE WAY AND MUST CONNECT THE DISTRICT, NOT JUST TO EMERGING AREAS BUT TO EXISTING NEIGHBOURHOODS TO HELP THE CONTINUED ENHANCEMENT OF LIVERPOOL CITY CENTRE.
The district, which covers 40 acres at the northern fringe of the city centre, predominantly consists of professional offices but a rise in residential and other uses through both new development and under Permitted Development Rights has introduced other emerging uses into the area which has impacted on the potential to grow the city economy particularly with regard to supplying Grade A and B office space.
The city council, together with the Commercial District BID and other public and private sector partners, are jointly commissioning the SRF which will give the council’s planning authority the ability to review and determine how different land uses can work together to meet demand and create a vibrant area whilst focusing on commercial growth and quality, enabling Liverpool to compete with the other core cities.
Home to many blue chip and well-known companies, 2017 saw Liverpool’s commercial district office take-up rise by 16% at 349,436 sqft – the highest take up since 2009.
The council is also investing £100m in new road infrastructure at the northern fringe of the district and has recently obtained planning consent to create a new cruise terminal at Princes Dock, which lies within the Commercial District’s boundary with a plan to submit a supporting application for a neighbouring hotel scheme later this year.
This new SRF will look to encompass these future developments into the new vision and the team will work with stakeholders to help create an exciting identity for the district to promote to investors, both nationally and internationally.
It is envisaged that the first draft of the Commercial District SRF will be produced, in liaison with key stakeholders, by December with public consultation to be held later in the new year, following cabinet approval, before a final document is submitted to the city council in the early Summer.
The city council has recently followed a similar process to masterplans for the Ten Streets Creativity District, Knowledge Quarter Gateway and Mathew Street music quarter.