By the Save Waterloo Dock Team

29 April, 2021


Both Merseyside Civic Society and The Georgian Group have expressed very serious concerns to Liverpool City Council about a developer’s plan to infill much of West Waterloo Dock and build three blocks comprising 330 flats and shops. Thus they join a growing number of influential objectors to PA 21F/0377 including UNESCO, Historic England, SAVE Britain’s Heritage and The Victorian Society.

The Merseyside Civic Society notes: “..the site offers no facilities for families. The density of small apartments in an area with very limited outdoor public space for play and recreation looks like a very bad idea post Covid.” “The design of the site [is] rather disappointing”, and “…the action …to fill or partly fill the dock is not compatible with [planning legislation]”. “We are also very concerned at the heritage implications and the threat to World Heritage Site status.” Consideration needs to be given to “the detrimental effects to the environment and World Heritage Site by unnecessary dock infill, the quality of the design and its appropriateness in a post Covid world.”

“The Georgian Group agrees with the opinion of Historic England that the partial infilling of West Waterloo Dock would cause harm to the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site.” “While the Design and Access Statement cites the precedent of tall warehouse buildings standing hard against the water’s edge, no such arrangement existed historically on the west or river side of what is now West Waterloo Dock where there was only ever a low, pitched roof Transit Shed.” In conclusion: “The Georgian Group objects to the proposed infill and to the scale and height of the proposed development. The partial infill of the dock would have a negative impact on the significance of these designated and non-designated [World Heritage] assets, rendering the application contrary to national and local policies…..”

A spokesperson for Save Waterloo Dock said: “After reading this objection letter it makes you think how on earth are LCC actually considering this application in the first place! We encourage anyone who has not yet objected to Liverpool Planning to do so without delay.”

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”.

Waterloo Warehouse is a protected Grade II listed building located in the UNESCO WHS of which East Waterloo Dock forms a part; West Waterloo Dock lies in the World Heritage Site Buffer Zone. In 2012 UNESCO placed the Liverpool World Heritage Site on its “In danger” list due to the Liverpool Waters development. It is one of only four endangered World Heritage sites amongst the 531in Europe and North America.

Merseyside Civic Society campaigns to preserve the best of our existing buildings and spaces and to insist on good quality design for our new ones.

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.

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

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To object:

 More Objections To Dock Development Plan