Liverpool reveals ambitious vision for Festival Gardens

Liverpool City Council has unveiled its plans for a “long term project” at the 80-acre former Festival Gardens site, to deliver 3,000 homes, cultural venues and public realm.

Architect K2 has created a masterplan for the cultural garden suburb, called Festival Park, which incorporates improved formal gardens with public realm and landscaped areas, major cultural venues and independent retailers and restaurants, fisheries and wildlife areas in the southern grasslands, alongside new docks and a waterpark.

The plan also raises the prospect of the introduction of a Mersey Ferry landing stage, and improved connection with the nearby St Michaels Merseyrail station.

Up to 3,000 properties on the site would be powered for the next 70 years using an energy cell which would remediate waste.

Speaking at the International Festival for Business, Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson described Festival Park as “a long term project” and said: “We have a bold and ambitious vision.

“It is a site which has languished without being properly developed for far too long, but we are determined for it to achieve its potential and become a major destination the entire city region can be proud of.

“We are at the start of a long term project to deliver a first class visitor and cultural destination with limited residential development on part of the site.

“Over the coming months we will be involving partners and local residents and getting their ideas and feedback. This is a site which very many people are very fond of, and it is vital that we take our time in getting this right.”

Earlier this month the council approved the use of £6m to remediate a nine-acre slice of land near to Britannia Inn, which it plans to sell to a residential developer for around £9m. Around 85 homes could be built on the plot. Profits would be used to remediate other parts of the waterside site.

Liverpool City Council regained control of the Festival Gardens from Langtree in summer last year, after a 10-year deadline passed for the developer to draw down two 150-year leases at the site for residential development.

During the time that Langtree was overseeing the site, it gained outline planning permission for 1,380 homes, which will remain valid until 2022.

Kevin Horton, architects director for K2, said: “When we were approached to create a vision for the former festival gardens, we asked ourselves, how can we create long term sustainable value on one of the city’s most challenging sites?

“By transforming its legacy of problems into worthwhile opportunities we have created an ambitious vision for the waterfront that captures Liverpool’s modern character.

“It is aspirational and confident which further cements the city’s position as a desirable European destination.”

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I love this waterside site.. and forms part of trail for me that I walk regularly, through to Lark Lane and Sefton Park.. the potential is huge… forms part of Liverpool’s little known promenade (well, outside Liverpool that is!) through to Otterspool. The Mersey basin at this point is bigger than Windermere and is like an inland sea lake.

By Alfie

“Southern Grasslands” always makes me smile. Anyone would think it was the Serengeti

By Zulu

Property really is a long term business. The Liverpool Flower Festival was in the early 1980’s, just as I started my career.

Doesn’t 30 years fly!

By Tom Davis

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