By the Save Waterloo Dock Team

02 February, 2020

The Victorian Society advises Liverpool City Council of its strong objection to planning application 18F/3247

The Victorian Society, which champions Victorian and Edwardian Architecture, has advised Liverpool City Council of its strong objection to the revised proposal by Romal Capital to partially infill West Waterloo Dock to create space for four 10-storey blocks of flats and a car park. Their objection is twofold namely, the partial infill of West Waterloo Dock is in contravention of the UNESCO Liverpool World Heritage Site Supplementary Planning Document, and the very poor proposed architecture.

The Victorian Society considers the permission granted last year to the Isle of Man Government to build a ferry terminal on West Waterloo Dock, as “sustaining – indeed, revitalizing, in a small way – the maritime use of the docks”, but in contrast they see the Romal proposal bringing: “no such benefit….and a great deal of harm”. In summary they state: “We support Historic England’s position that the infilling will cause harm to the significance of adjacent designated and non-designated heritage assets, and to the Outstanding Universal Value of the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City World Heritage Site, that the harm is unjustified, and therefore that these proposals should be denied consent.”

In addition The Victorian Society says its “primary reason for objecting to this scheme was and remains the very poor quality of the proposed architecture.” “The proposed designs are extremely disappointing” and are “bland and forgettable.” The Society is “not opposed in principle to development in Liverpool, but….the outstanding value of the city's heritage merits new architectural work of the highest quality. All too often, however, the schemes that are put forward are repetitive and anonymous. This is the case here and we urge your authority to refuse consent.”

The Victorian Society joins UNESCO World Heritage, Europa Nostra, Historic England, SAVE Britain’s Heritage and The Georgian Group, all of which have soundly criticised and condemned the proposal, which is contrary to planning policy, to infill historic West Waterloo Dock so as to create another housing development. West Waterloo Dock is situated in the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City World Heritage Site Buffer Zone. Dating originally from 1834 when Jesse Hartley, the first full-time dock engineer in the world, commenced expansion of the Northern Docks, Waterloo Dock was modified in 1865 – 8. Three large grain warehouses were built of which only Waterloo Warehouse survives, turning the dock into the then 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 Victorian Society is the charity championing Victorian and Edwardian buildings in England and Wales. Their Conservation Advisors help local planning authorities and churches make better decisions about adapting Victorian and Edwardian buildings to the way we live now, while keeping what is special about them.


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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Victorian Society objects to 18F/3247, which is in contravention of the UNESCO Liverpool World Heritage Site Supplementary Planning Document