shot of the Liverpool skyline

Tall Buildings policy being adopted by Liverpool Council

Liverpool City Council has announced that it is set to adopt a new policy relating to the design and location of new tall buildings that are constructed in the city.

Next week (17th October), a report for the Council’s Cabinet will recommend that the council takes up a Tall Buildings Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) which will be used to help map out how development can become proactive and positive. This report has been informed by public engagement, with adoption of the policy being used in the process of decision-making for future planning applications of tall buildings.

Guidance will include details of what the council deems to be appropriate in terms of height, design, and location, supplementing the local plan and helping to guide the council’s new waterfront strategy. Whilst making sure that this guidance goes hand in hand with the National Design Guide, the document will also make sure that Liverpool’s future tall buildings complement the city’s character, heritage assets and image.

The council has identified five locations around the city that could be appropriate for clusters of tall buildings. These are:

  • Liverpool Waters
  • Commercial District
  • Leeds Street/Pall Mall
  • Paddington Village
  • Southern fringe of Baltic Triangle
Liverpool tall buildings quote

Director of Planning and Building Control at Liverpool City Council, Samantha Campbell, said:

“This Tall Buildings SPD 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 skyscraper construction used at Oriel Chambers, Water Street.

“The SPD is part of a suite of placemaking documents, including the recently 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 on Liverpool.”

Issues of quality, sustainability, environment, and economic growth are also covered in the document, with the policy stating that four tests need to be passed by new schemes. To pass these tests, the following must be demonstrated:

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

Councillor Nick Small, Cabinet Member for Economy and Development, added:

“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 is a very timely document as it will help guide and shape our new waterfront strategy and set a clear path as to 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 it has set out clear principles around design, quality, and sustainability and what the city expects from developers to meet those standards.

“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.

“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.”


Image credit: iStock


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