Ollier Smurthwaite is the architect for the project. Credit: via planning documents

Date set for inquiry into Romal’s £100m Liverpool Waters scheme 

A six-day inquiry to decide whether the developer’s 330-home Central Docks scheme can go ahead will begin on 10 May. 

Romal Capital, headed up by Australian co-founder Greg Malouf, wants to create the scheme at Peel L&P’s Liverpool Waters. 

However, Liverpool City Council did not determine the proposals within the statutory period due to reservations it has about the scheme. 

The city council raised the following concerns about the project: 

  • Harm caused by infilling of West Waterloo Dock  
  • The scheme would impinge on land earmarked in the Liverpool Waters masterplan for a public square  
  • The proposed development contains too many one-bedroom apartments 

Speaking at the time, Malouf said he was “incredibly disappointed” about the city council’s stance following “three years of intense engagement” with the authority. 

After failing to agree a way forward, Romal appealed against the non-determination of the proposals, meaning the planning inspectorate will have the final say. 

The scheme, designed by Ollier Smurthwaite, is proposed on land close to Everton’s new £500m stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock and Malouf believes Romal’s project is a “critical component” in the regeneration of Liverpool’s docklands and would provide residential accommodation at a time of “acute pressures in the housing sector”.  

Malouf added: “When Everton’s new stadium opens to the public in three to four years’ time, what do we want visitors to see? A flourishing, mixed, sustainable world-class waterfront, with new homes, new parks, green spaces, and public realm for everyone to enjoy – or undeveloped barren brownfield land?”   

Romal first lodged plans for the redevelopment of plot C02 of the Liverpool Waters masterplan in 2019.  The company proposed creating 643 apartments but then scaled back its plans.  

Elsewhere within the masterplan, Romal has already developed Quay Central and Park Central, totalling 237 apartments.  

Your Comments

Read our comments policy

Positive that Romal will succeed with this inquiry, and the city can stop being held back by inward-looking and self-centred groups and individuals obsessed with over-dramatised and exaggerated heritage issues. Yes we respect our historic buildings and locations and while we can`t preserve everything we can reconfigurate them to our future benefit.
Hopefully other honest developers will take heart from this and confront the council over some of it`s more dubious planning decisions.

By Anonymous

I hope this gets built! It’s a great design

By Anonymous

Will make no difference. Liverpool’s problems are endemic .

By Dan

Whatever gets decided will be on the head of the government. Why should the council be forced into supporting something they don’t feel is right?

If they had taken this approach years ago many of today’s problems with sub-par and stalled developments would have been avoided.

This is a rare example of the council standing up for the city’s strategic interests.

By Jeff

I’m usually the first to berate the NIMBYism plaguing the Liverpool City Council but in this case they’re right to reserve judgement. The scheme looks poor and couple that with it being in place of a public square is a no no for me. In addition, the filling in if the dock defeats the point of the waterfront and dockland appeal.

Poor scheme that hopefully gets quashed. Liverpool’s waterfront should aim for top quality developments, not cheap identikit architecture that you could see in any suburb of any UK city.

By The Squirrel's Nuts

Another example of LCC changing the rules to pander to the vocal community. With regard to one bedroom apartments if they didn’t sell they wouldn’t build them?
Hope it gets built but even higher.

By On the Dock

1.One section of the dock has laready been infilled for the current resident’s car park.
2.The proposal for a park is actually on Clarence dock – opposite the existing Romal development which has been named ‘Park Central’ to reflect this.
3.The visuals have been around for years, showing the land on that side of the dock fully developed. No surprises here.


Furthermore there is no ” waterfront appeal” because the site is currently inaccessible to the public. Once the IOM ferry terminal is up and running and this development complete, the general public will actually be able to enjoy walking or cycling further along the waterfront than they is currently possible. Bring it on!


It’s derelict at the moment so we should let it be turned into some low end Salford-esque parody, just to fill the pockets of a developer?

It’s of absolutely no value to the city whatsoever. Which raises question over the motives of those clamouring for it to be accepted and built.

Especially as there are some who argue it is actually detrimental.

By Jeff

Just build Liverpool

By Anonymous

The council have used the local plan to push a political agenda rather than to act as an enabler for investment and regeneration. Developers bring forward schemes with one bedrooms units predominating because that is what the market wants. Families do not want to live in small three bedroom units in the city centre, not least because the quality of local schools is well below par.

Good luck to Romal with their appeal. I note a noisy community group stopped a previously consented scheme at yesterday’s planning committee, too. Is it rule by shouting loudest now?

By Sceptical

I really hope the appeal is allowed but I do think the housing mix is going to be the biggest hurdle to overcome. Liverpool has a newly adopted Plan specifically requiring a greater proportion of 2 bed units. Rightly or wrongly, the policy was considered ‘sound’ by the Local Plan Inspector. It will be a tall order trying to convince an Inspector to go against this policy when the ink is barely dry.

By Anonymous

@Jeff, your post of April 13 10.07 is confusing , yes the site is derelict and therefore needs developing, we have a reasonable company ,Romal ,willing to do that, as regards developers “filling their pockets”, it`s called business and it creates jobs and wealth, even for the owners of the flats in the future who will then ” fill their pockets, all of us who own homes or property will hope to get more than what we paid for it.

By Anonymous

Typical approach by inept Liverpool Council members who are devoid of any ambition to make this City the envy of the rest of the UK. We have a fantastic waterfront that should be exploited for the right reasons in creating a pleasurable vista and bringing jobs and prosperity. Alas they are Content to allow a large tract of land which has remained largely derelict for almost 60 years to remain an eyesore. At the same time international visitors glide past this area on the huge passenger liners that dock at the Pierhead landing stage and not the world class passenger terminal that we were promised by the very same morons that preside over my City.

By Stephen Hart

No one has stated that the area will be better off for having the apartment blocks built, but many, local people, people born and bred in Liverpool, who care for the city and its future, have stated that it will be both harmful and unnecessary to build the apartments in that location. No one, I believe, has said that Romal should not build, the exact, or larger, if required apartments, fifty yards away, on a brown field site – which fits in wit buildings destined to support developments across the waterfront including the toffees new ground. That way, our docks can remain as is, supporting local wildlife and providing a traditional heritage to those of us who love them.

By Chris Coughlan

Related Articles

Sign up to receive the Place Daily Briefing

Join more than 13,000 property professionals and receive your free daily round-up of built environment news direct to your inbox


Join more than 13,000 property professionals and sign up to receive your free daily round-up of built environment news direct to your inbox.

By subscribing, you are agreeing to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

"*" indicates required fields

Your Job Field*
Other regional Publications - select below