Plan for 1,500 ‘eco-homes’ at Liverpool’s International Garden Festival site

Liverpool City Council says it wants to create a ‘green community’ at the waterfront location with the first homes available by 2022. Tony McDonough reports

International Garden Festival
Liverpool’s former International Garden Festival site is earmarked for almost 1,500 new homes


Liverpool’s former International Garden Festival could see the first of almost 1,500 ‘eco-homes’ ready for occupation by 2022.

In the latest push to kick-start a multi-million pound programme of new development on the waterfront site in the south of the city, Liverpool City Council says it wants to create a “green community”.

The Liverpool International Garden Festival took place at the location in 1984 but, apart from a short-lived leisure attractions called Pleasure Island, there has been little activity on the site since then.

A report to the city council’s cabinet next Friday, December 6, outlines a programme of activity which could lead to the building of almost 1,500 ‘eco-friendly homes’. The report identifies four major stepping stones for a comprehensive regeneration of the 28-acre site:

  • Submit planning application for remediation of the Development Zone in December 2019.
  • Accept grant funding from Homes England.
  • Apply for funding from Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to fund remediation and infrastructure works.
  • Negotiate and complete legal agreements with IMGF Developments Ltd, to pave the way for a residential planning application for 1,500 homes by summer 2020.

The city council’s intention is to facilitate site remediation and ground infrastructure works and then sell the land for the delivery of new homes to create the green community, which would include extended parkland and an upgrade to the adjacent Festival Gardens.

IMGF Developments, a joint venture between ION Developments and Midia Group, are producing a full residential masterplan and will work closely with the city council on a consultation programme with the neighbouring communities.

The site has attracted a £9.9m boost from Homes England which will kick start the essential remediation work on the site, with the city council seeking additional support from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to complete the works.

It is anticipated that, pending planning permissions, the first homes could be available by 2022. The cabinet report is also seeking authority to procure experts to oversee the remediation strategy, the treatment of the soil and waste, and a contract for the management of the ground gas management system.

Arup has been appointed by Liverpool City Council to produce and submit the remediation planning application, which will encompass a comprehensive excavation, processing and reuse strategy.

Joe Anderson
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said the project would be ‘truly transformational’


The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has agreed to contribute up to £150,000 towards the total cost of a pre-remediation material processing trial of 1,000 cubic metres, which will assist in reducing the remediation programme.

It is also a pre-requisite of the Environment Agency, so that the site qualifies as a pilot project to demonstrate an innovative approach to waste processing and protecting groundwater.

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said: “The derelict site situated to the west of Festival Gardens presents a huge opportunity to create a new community that would be truly transformational for housing in Liverpool, generating millions of pounds every year in council tax revenue.

We have come a long way in a very short space of time since the city council bought the land back and the vision of creating a new community in south Liverpool at an iconic destination is now another step closer.”

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