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Team appointed to prepare new Liverpool tall buildings policy

A design consortium has been appointed by Liverpool City Council to prepare a new tall buildings policy for the city.

The local authority is looking to adopt the policy as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to guide the height, location and design of tall buildings.

Urban Initiatives Studio (UIS) will lead the team of planning experts and will be supported by heritage specialists from Chris Blandford Associates (CBA). Environment consultants from Arup will provide assistance on microclimate issues.

According to the council, the policy could be adopted by the end of 2019 and will assess the appropriate height for developments in relation to existing buildings and the environment, appropriate locations for ‘tall building clusters’ in the city centre, and it’ll encourage best practice in building design.

Urban Initiatives Studio will undertake initial research before a draft policy is discussed with key stakeholders including Historic England.

Public feedback will then be sought in the summer, before a final draft is put to Liverpool City Council’s cabinet for formal adoption.

Once adopted, the SPD would sit alongside Liverpool’s other planning policies including the Local Plan and the World Heritage Site Management Plan.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson says: “Liverpool is undergoing a huge transformation and a new tall buildings policy is going to be crucial not only in helping to shape the city’s landscape but also to set the highest expectations for architectural design.

“Liverpool has a unique set of characteristics, most notably our historic buildings, and we need to define where tall buildings will be best situated.

“We want to achieve that delicate balance between encouraging development and complementing the quality of Liverpool’s existing architecture and we are very fortunate to have a 3D model of the city to assist these planners and engineers in this regard.”

Matthias Wunderlich, director at UIS, adds: “Liverpool is a special city with a rich heritage that has seen rapid growth over the past decade. This study aims to ensure that tall buildings are located in the right places, where they can support place-making, contribute to an attractive skyline and convey a proud city image.

“We have to be mindful of Liverpool’s unique heritage, recognised through its World Heritage Site designation, and ensure that tall buildings contribute to Liverpool as an attractive and legible place to live.”