Home > News > Skyscraper News > North West > United Kingdom > Liverpool Lime Street Descends Into Acrimony

Liverpool Lime Street Descends Into Acrimony

A major row has broken out in Liverpool over the planning of an emerging second cluster centred around the area of Lime Street Station. The issue stems from a number of conflicting opinions between Liverpool City Council, their planning advisors, English Heritage and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.

There are two towers planned for the area, the 32 floor hotel and residential development called Grand Central Lime Street which has been designed for Falconer Chester for Irish developer Chieftain Constructions, and the Lime Street Gateway Tower worked up by Glenn Howells Architects for the site on the existing Concourse House. These towers will come in at 114.90m and 85.30 metres respectively.

The main issue comes from the taller tower, with the advice from LCCs own planning inspectors suggesting they reject the tower on grounds of quality. CABE have also weighed in opposing the tower on the basis of the design quality and in particular how it relates at ground level to the streetscape and neighbouring buildings.

From a different view point EH are vocal opponents saying it will affect the World Heritage Site and there should be only one tower in Lime Street rather than an emerging cluster - they only support the shorter tower and are opposed in principle to other tall buildings anywhere near it although the logic of only wanting one tall building in the area smacks more of a compromise between their real desire for nothing and a reflection on the commercial realities in the property market than anything else.

at the same time the planned tower next door on Concourse House which LCC are involved in is being supported by the council despite being a similar height. Criticisms of design aside it would appear that LCC are opposing a rival scheme simply to support their own.

The main question everyone is asking is why LCC would support a project so similar to one that all the major planning bodies oppose whilst at the same time having opposed projects that are of a high quality and warmly welcomed such as Brunswick Quay which at this point remains an unknown.

The actual idea of it being a suitable location for tall buildings remains sound, its close to a major transport node, in this case the main station for Liverpool, is surrounded by tall buildings and looks like a prime commercial spot but the expected approval of LCC for a development so heavily criticised is highly unusual.

Developer Chieftain remains bullish at their chances despite all the opposition, and even if their design is ultimately rejected they can always go back to the drawing board to win over CABE and the local council planners with a refined version that takes into account their views.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Liverpool work is due to begin on the Beetham West Tower, Liverpool's new tallest building, any day now, and another project which had previously run into trouble and was only approved by LCC after they received legal advice they would lose an appeal if they stuck to their original rejection.

As an addendum here's a lovely quote from the Daily Post about Liverpool council head honcho Mike Storey, who to fill in a little background doesn't like these towers or plenty of others such as the arguably superb Brunswick Quay.

"Cllr Storey said the barrage of e-mails and phone calls directed at members of the planning committee had appalled him. "

It appears Cllr Storey hates the fact that users of this site and our forums are actually trying to take an active part in the planning system as is their democratic right and make their voices heard. The chair of the planning committee is doreen.jones@liverpool.gov.uk if you want to get in touch and exercise your democratic right too. Go on, we know you want to but please refer to her as Lady Jones, and always use full stops to end a sentence!

Article Related buildings:

Grand Central Lime Street

Grand Central Lime Street
Lime Street Gateway Tower

Lime Street Gateway Tower
Concourse House

Concourse House
The emerging Liverpool Lime Street Cluster
The emerging Liverpool Lime Street Cluster
The much criticised Grand Central Lime Street ground level
The much criticised Grand Central Lime Street ground level