SAVE urges planners to re-think infill plan for Liverpool’s historic docks
Liverpool’s historic West Waterloo Dock remains under threat from a highly controversial infilling and tower block scheme, despite strong opposition from local campaign groups, heritage organisations and renewed UNESCO warnings.
With a decision due on the application in early 2020, local campaign group Save Waterloo Dock (SWD), backed by 2,500 objections in a recent petition, has raised fresh alarm over ongoing negotiations between Liverpool City Council and developer Romal Capital as the application moves through the planning system.
SAVE Britain’s Heritage has strongly objected to the plans and is concerned that the proposed construction of six towers of up to 14 storeys, and the infilling of this historic dock sets a dangerous precedent for dock infilling within the WHS ‘Buffer Zone’, a planning zone designed to prevent visual harm or encroachment by development on the city’s core WHS.
Under the current proposals, two thirds of Waterloo Dock would be infilled for the erection of 646 apartments in six tower blocks. Set wholly in the WHS ‘Buffer Zone’, the proposed tower blocks would not only disfigure the setting of Grade II listed Princes Half Tide Dock and Waterloo Warehouse, but also obliterate the legibility of Waterloo Dock as a maritime dock and compromise the overall quality of the famous Merseyside vista. This maritime vista forms an integral part of Liverpool’s WHS inscription as a ‘Maritime Mercantile City’ of Outstanding Universal Value.
SAVE’s concerns are echoed by Historic England, who has stated the proposed infilling “would cause a high level of harm to West Waterloo Dock and to the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site and the setting of [the] adjacent conservation area.”
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