Not much more than a decade ago the Baltic area little more than a collection of abandoned warehouses and now it is home to more than 500 businesses – where does it go next? Tony McDonough reports
Senior councillors in Liverpool have approved a new masterplan for the fast-growing Baltic Triangle district which includes a new Merseyrail station.
Not much more than a decade ago the Baltic area little more than a collection of abandoned warehouses just south of the city centre. It has since undergone a £250m boom and is home to more than 500 businesses employing 3,000 people.
It has become one of the UK’s fastest-growing clusters for the digital and creative sectors as well as being home to an increasing number of bars and restaurants across its 93 acres. Its population has also doubled since 2010.
Now Liverpool City Council’s cabinet has approved a draft Spatial Regeneration Framework (SRF) to guide the Baltic’s future growth. It was led by consultants LDA Design who also oversaw its public consultation.
Key recommendations within the Baltic Triangle SRF includes:
- Support for a new Merseyrail station at St James Street (closed in 1917).
- Creating a new public park – Baltic Park.
- Enhancing connectivity, specifically pedestrian and cycle routes.
- Creating green corridors, linking into the city’s £3.4m Urban GreenUp project.
- Protecting open spaces and setting open space design guidelines.
- Encouraging a balanced mix of housing types and homes for families.
- Ensuring buildings have active ground floor uses.
- The potential for a Conservation Area.
The SRF also identified four ‘areas of change” and has set design guidelines for each that deals with considerations such as scale and design, connectivity, heritage and green infrastructure. They are the police HQ and Heaps Mill, Wapping Goods Terminal, Flint Street South, Cains Brewery Village and Hill Street Corridor.
The Baltic SRF will now be used in guiding planning applications in the area. It will be endorsed as a Supplementary Planning Document following adoption of Liverpool’s 15-year Local Plan, which is expected to come into force in late 2021.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “The Baltic Triangle is a great Liverpool success story but the time has come for a new chapter to take it to the next level. This new masterplan sets out some bold ideas and projects to create a healthy, vibrant place to work and live.
“Consultation with businesses and residents has been crucial to how this plan was shaped. They will also be vital to its successful implementation, and I thank everyone for their input and commitment to making the Baltic the best possible place to invest and work in.”