A proposal by Legacie Developments to construct 500 new apartments on land at Greenland Street in Liverpool has raised fears of a negative impact on the Baltic district. Tony McDonough reports
An £80m residential scheme planned for Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle area now looks much more likely to go ahead after one of the main objectors dropped its opposition.
A proposal by Legacie Developments to construct 500 new apartments on land at Greenland Street, in buildings between eight and 18 storeys high, had raised fears about a negative impact on what has become the city’s number one creative and cultural hub.
If it goes ahead it will mean the closure of the popular Constellations venue and, it was claimed, would scupper plans to reopen the old St James railway station.
When the scheme was first unveiled Baltic Triangle Area CIC chairperson, Liam Kelly, claimed Liverpool’s current development strategy was putting at risk any chance of a “long-term, sustainable vision”.
However, after talks with Legacie, Baltic Triangle Area CIC has now dropped its objections to the project and has now pledged to work with the developer to help create a scheme that will enhance the Baltic district.
In less than a decade the Baltic Triangle has been transformed from a collection of deserted streets and abandoned warehouses into a creative and cultural hub which is home to hundreds of small businesses.
In a statement, Baltic Area CIC said: “The Baltic Triangle Area CIC and its stakeholders are committed to the positive development of the Baltic Triangle as the city’s creative quarter, as the area continues to grow rapidly.
“The area stakeholders wish to see strategic growth with strong partnership working, in order to achieve key objectives. These include, for example, improvements being made to make the Parliament Street crossing safer and the re-opening of St. James Street station.
“Over the past week the Area CIC has worked directly with the developer Legacie to seek assurances around the concerns raised in the planning objection.
“Legacie and the Baltic Area CIC worked with Merseytravel to obtain these assurances from them directly, that the land is not needed as part of the proposed scheme for the re-opening of the station.
“Legacie and Merseytravel share in the ambition for a Baltic Triangle station that would serve residents living close by as well as the growing number of businesses in the area.
“It is also welcome news that The Biennial and Legacie are working together to retain public art as part of the proposed scheme. A contracted has now been signed between them.
“Now that major concerns have been laid to rest, working directly with the developer, The Baltic Triangle Area CIC have withdrawn the planning objections. It’s important to protect the area’s potential at the same time as to encourage more good quality developments.”
Mr Kelly added his own comments: “Working collaboratively is the bread and butter of the Baltic Triangle. It’s the reason the area is one of the fastest growing clusters in the UK.
“This past week has shown the power of respectful collaboration. Even in the face of disagreement, progress can still be made. The Baltic Triangle is an example for the whole region to look, with lessons learned to be applied elsewhere.”
Last week, Liverpool City Council’s planning committee reserved its decision on the scheme and has arranged a site visit for councillors. They will consider the application later this month with the chances of approval now much higher.
The current operators of Constellations have also said they plan to open a similar venue nearby.
A spokesperson for Legacie Developments said: “We are pleased to have discussed the project in greater detail with the Baltic Area CIC and reassured them of our deep commitment to producing a quality development.
“Our plan for Greenland Street will create a brilliant mix of new homes, leisure and retail as well as a public plaza that will further improve the locality. We are also very much looking forward to working in partnership with the Biennial on creating a new piece of public art.”