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New framework could help shape future of Liverpool’s commercial district

Liverpool could shape its commercial district to meet future business demand by forming a new Spatial Regeneration Framework (SRF).

City council cabinet members are recommended to give the green light to develop the SRF with Supplementary Planning Document status for the area, to “ensure that future development is guided with an emphasis on protecting employment uses, in an environment where the city has a shortage of employment land and importantly a lack of quality, particularly Grade A office spaces”.

A report to be considered by Liverpool City Council’s cabinet during a meeting next Friday (25 May) suggests “an increase in residential development through Permitted Development Rights is impacting on the potential to grow the city economy particularly with regard to the lack of Grade A and B office space”.

The procurement and production of the draft SRF is expected to incur a cost of up to £100,000 and, if approved, a contribution of up to a third would come from Liverpool City Council with the rest mainly funded from partnership resources.

The local authority would be assisted by a group of partners including the Commercial BID, Professional Liverpool and the Business Services Board at the Liverpool City Region LEP.

According to the report, the SRF would also position Liverpool’s commercial business district (CBD) to make the most of opportunities major proposed projects including the Pall Mall and Liverpool Waters regenerations could bring.

The document adds: “The CBD contains several key sites within the city centre and it is imperative that the city council retains an element of control over development to ensure it is of high quality and contributes to the long-term sustainability of the city.

“The production and adoption of an SRF would ensure that future development is guided with an emphasis on protecting employment uses, in an environment where the city has a shortage of employment land and importantly a lack of quality, particularly Grade A office spaces.”

If given the go ahead, it’s envisaged that a steering group will be formed to oversee a procurement process for the draft SRF which will be managed by Liverpool City Council.

A tender for the project is expected to be put to the market by June 2018, with a team procured and in place the following month.

The draft SRF could then be the subject of a consultation during September and October, and then considered for formal adoption by the council to be in place from January 2019.