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Government advisers object to latest Waterloo Dock flats plan

Europa Nostra UK submitted a formal response for a planning application (ref: 18F/3247) to redevelop Waterloo Dock in 2020, and have since kept up to date with the developing proposals and the work of the Save Waterloo Dock campaign.

The Save Waterloo Dock campaign has learned that Historic England has recommended refusal of the latest development proposals for West Waterloo Dock. New planning application 21F/0377 seeks to infill West Waterloo Dock and build 330 flats and shops plus parking for 140 cars. It replaces an earlier plan by the same developer, now withdrawn, to infill the dock and build four high-rise blocks of flats to which Historic England also objected.

Image @WaterlooDock Twitter

Historic England protects England’s historic spaces. It is sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and makes recommendations relating to heritage and cultural assets.

In its latest advice Historic England cites the application’s failure to meet national planning guidelines, and points to the responsibilities and obligations of local authorities under planning laws to protect, preserve and enhance the settings of listed buildings and conservation areas of special architectural and historic significance.

Waterloo Warehouse is a Grade II listed building located in the UNESCO Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City World Heritage Site (WHS) of which East Waterloo Dock forms a part; West Waterloo Dock lies in the WHS Buffer Zone.

The advice says:

“Historic England considers that West Waterloo Dock makes a positive contribution to the adjacent listed buildings and the conservation area as part of the expansive dock system. West Waterloo Dock also supports the Outstanding Universal Value of the adjacent World Heritage Site. The partial infill of the dock would have a negative impact…..rendering the application contrary to …..national and local policies. ”

Waterloo Dock dates from 1834 when Jesse Hartley, the world’s first full-time dock engineer, was expanding the docks northwards, and was modified in 1865 – 8 by City Engineer, George F. Lyster. Three large grain warehouses were built of which only Waterloo Warehouse survives, turning the dock into the largest grain dock in the world. West Waterloo Dock was also the main point of departure throughout the rest of the 19th Century for emigrants to the “New World”.

In 2012 UNESCO placed the Liverpool WHS on its “In danger” list due to the Liverpool Waters development. It is one of only four endangered World Heritage sites amongst the 531 in Europe and North America.

A spokesperson for SWD said:

“This is certainly welcome news and an encouraging step in our fight to Save Waterloo Dock for the people of Liverpool.”

Save Waterloo Dock is a local neighbourhood association seeking to ensure that development of Waterloo Dock is appropriate and not destructive.

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