By the Save Waterloo Dock Team

11 January, 2022

Save Waterloo Dock Neighbourhood Association is pleased that the city’s planning department is recommending that this deeply problematical application be refused.

Liverpool City Council yesterday published the agenda for their Planning Committee meeting on 18 January; this confirmed that Romal Capital’s Planning Application 21F/0377 is at long last scheduled tor consideration. First submitted a year ago in February 2021, the application is for the substantial infill of historic West Waterloo Dock to create a residential building site for the construction of 330 flats. The proposed buildings would reach 9 storeys. This replaces an earlier application submitted in 2018 for an even larger development to construct six residential tower blocks on the infilled dock.

Save Waterloo Dock has actively opposed this planning application and its predecessor from the outset on many grounds but most importantly the irreparable harm that dock infill would inflict on the hugely historic heritage assets and the waterfront as a whole. They are joined by leading national heritage bodies, SAVE Britain’s Heritage, The Georgian Group and The Victorian Society, Liverpool, Riverside MP Kim Johnson and a number of local politicians. Following the cancellation last July by UNESCO of Liverpool’s World Heritage designation the UK Government’s advisors, Historic England, stated that partial infill of the dock “would be contrary to….national and local (planning) policies” and expressed “serious concerns with this application”

Save Waterloo Dock Neighbourhood Association is therefore extremely pleased that the city’s planning department is recommending refusal.Waterloo Dock dates from 1834 when Jesse Hartley, the world’s first full-time dock engineer, was expanding the docks northwards and was modified in 1865 – 8 by City Engineer, George F. Lyster. Three large grain warehouses were built of which only Waterloo Warehouse survives, turning the dock into the largest grain dock in the world. West Waterloo Dock was also the main point of departure throughout the rest of the 19th Century for emigrants to the “New World”.

The reasons cited by the case officer are; i) the harmful effect the development would have on the historic environment and heritage assets in contravention of local and national planning policies; ii) by impinging upon an area designated for development as a key public space in contravention of local and national planning policies, and iii) failure to satisfy the City’s aim of providing a broader housing offer due to the high proportion of one-bedroom flats in contravention of the City’s Local Plan.

We urge the Planning Committee to support the interim Chief Planning Officer’s recommendation.

The developer intends to appeal the decision on the grounds of non-determination.

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Waterloo Warehouse is a protected Grade II listed building and together with the majority of Waterloo Dock is situated in the Stanley Dock conservation area.

SAVE Britain's Heritage has been campaigning for historic buildings since its formation in 1975.

The Georgian Group is an English and Welsh conservation organisation created to campaign for the preservation of historic buildings and planned landscapes of the 18th and early 19th centuries.

The Victorian Society campaigns to preserve and promote interest in Victorian and Edwardian architecture and heritage.

Save Waterloo Dock is a local neighbourhood association seeking to ensure that development of Waterloo Dock is appropriate and not destructive.

Liverpool City Council Planning Department recommends refusal of 21F/0377