Peel plan to build city dock towers
LIVERPOOL'S derelict Central Docks is to be developed with skyscrapers to mirror the Manhattan skyline proposed for Wirral.
The Daily Post can reveal that senior executives from Peel Holdings have already shown their vision for Liverpool's waterfront to council leader Cllr Warren Bradley and chief executive Colin Hilton.
The aim by Peel, owners of the docks as well as Liverpool John Lennon Airport, is to create a stunning high-rise waterfront gateway on both sides of the Mersey.
Buildings of up to 50-storeys high will be a dominant feature of the waterfront, stretching from Central Docks towards Princes Dock, which is also part of the Peel land ownership.
Peel's master plan for Central Docks is expected to be presented to city councillors within weeks. Then the public will be given a chance to the vision for the waterfront for themselves.
On Tuesday, the privately owned company announced details of its £4.5bn plan to create a mini-Manhattan based on Birkenhead Docks to be known as Wirral Waters. Few people realised that, behind the scenes, Peel's director of development, Lindsey Ashworth, had already created a wider master plan embracing both sides of the river.
Last night, Mr Ashworth said: "We are trying to do something spectacular on both sides of the river. Our aim is to develop the Wirral and Liverpool waterfronts simultaneously.
"The schemes we have in mind for Central and Princes will be on a similar level to what we propose in Wirral.
"We want to create clusters of skyscrapers on both sides of the river. That will ensure the Mersey as a waterfront is up there with the very best in the world.
"Until recently, Liverpool had a provisional policy of high-rise buildings, but things have changed. We see skyscrapers as making a bold statement about an area.
"When I first visited Central Docks, I was amazed at its dereliction and the fact that it is just not being used.
"But the site is outstanding and it beggars belief that nothing has happened on the site. It was easier for us to unveil our plans for Wirral first, but our ambitions for Liverpool are not far behind. We are talking about initiatives that can take as long as 30 years to come to fruition. Our wide masterplan takes account of a long timescale and making the most of the waterfronts."
New buildings proposed for Princes Dock are likely to be taller than originally envisaged, as part of the evolving skyscraper strategy for the waterfront.
Last night, city council leader Cllr Warren Bradley said: "I want to see a European-style scheme along the waterfront and I am impressed by what Peel is talking about. The Central and North docks areas are a huge development site and we are talking about a massive project for Liverpool.
"John Whittaker (chairman of Peel) has a reputation for delivering, and I am looking forward to seeing the master plan for this side of the river.
"Liverpool City Council will make sure the facilities are in place to ensure this scheme moved forward. I view Peel as a perfect partner in a regeneration strategy."