Town Planning Acts

The Housing and Town Planning Act, passed in 1909, was the first legal step towards controlled urban planning. This Act allowed local authorities to prepare development schemes for land close to towns. In practice, the Act did not achieve a great deal and duplicated a number of the planning powers secured under the Liverpool Corporation Act of 1908. A follow-up Act in 1919 made the preparation of development schemes compulsory for all towns or cities with populations over 20,000. Existing planning laws were brought together in the 1925 Town Planning Act, for the first time separating the concept of town planning from housing provision.


It was not until the 1930s that planning powers were updated to include the redevelopment of existing urban areas. Before this, the focus of new planning legislation was on the development of new plots of land. The Town and Country Planning Act of 1932 covered urban and rural planning and marked the beginning of modern town planning as we recognise it today.

The 1947 Town and Country Planning Act was very important. The Act included a section on the preservation of buildings of architectural and historic interest. This was the first recognition that significant buildings needed such protection. The list for Liverpool was somewhat limited at first. St. George?s Hall and the Royal Liver Building were listed, but many buildings in the city were not recognised for their architectural or historical significance until much later. This came too late for some important buildings that were demolished in the 1950s and 1960s.