There are several tall buildings proposed at Peel L&P's Liverpool Waters. Credit: via planning documents

Liverpool sets out tall buildings policy

The city council has produced a framework aimed at guiding the development of tall buildings to ensure they “positively contribute to the legibility and architectural richness of the city”. 

Liverpool City Council’s Tall Buildings Supplementary Planning Document is to be used in conjunction with the local plans and is aimed at ensuring developers understand how and where the authority wants to see towers delivered in the city centre. 

The main areas identified in the framework are Peel L&P’s Liverpool Waters, which already has permission for multiple 30+ storey towers, and the central business district, which the SPD suggests could accommodate buildings of up to 50 storeys. 

Fewer tall buildings have come forward in Liverpool in recent years compared to other regional cities, due in part to the city’s World Heritage Status. 

However, UNESCO rescinded the title last year, potentially opening Liverpool up to an increased number of tall developments. 

The new framework, which will go before cabinet later this week, intends to help the city council maintain control of Liverpool’s skyline and ensure projects come forward in a measured way that does not negatively impact the city. 

“While the city has recently lost its World Heritage Site status, the significance of various heritage assets contained within the rescinded designation remains undiminished,” the SPD states. 

“It is therefore imperative to continue to protect the city’s mercantile heritage and key waterfront, panoramic and city views and the setting of associated listed buildings and conservation areas remain valid considerations.” 

Your Comments

Read our comments policy

Tall buildings, not here thank you.

By Anonymous

Even equivalent cities like Bristol or Newcastle have outstripped Liverpool in investment and the building of talls over decades now.

By Anonymous

Far bigger blow to the cities international prestige losing that Heritage status than the odd 30 story block of apartments will ever make up for.

By Anonymous

As long as there is some flexibility allowed and it does not inhibit development and investors. LCC mustn’t be too protective or reactionary.

By Liverpolitis

This is known as a “stable door” policy. Perhaps done a few years ago Liverpool would still be a World Heritage site.

By architecto

LCC planning don’t approve anything regardless, 4 storeys or 40. We’ll just sit and watch the rest of the UK move on while we watch the City fall apart under abandoned “gems”.

By Michael

A concerted policy of restricting groups of taller buildings in landmark areas can only be a good thing…we don’t want to wind up looking like a mini Brooklyn….

By Tercol

All well and good , now how about also addressing other issues that put off developers, such as long drawn out delays over things like , abandoned wasteland being referred to as parks and people trying to get a sort of protected status for them, as happened in Pall Mall, which part affected this office scheme progressing , we need developers on site instead of pandering to groups using spurious delaying tactics.

By Anonymous

Having tall developments in Liverpool is a terrible error. It will destroy the city.

By John

Seems to be an improvement , but wanted to read it to check and tried to find the new policy on the city councils website with no success

By George

    Re George – we’ve added a link to the cabinet report, which has the document in its appendix. Best – Julia

    By Julia Hatmaker

Er to little too late

By w jones

Paris is one of the great cities in the world without tall buildings but the get it built brigade seem to think that Liverpool can’t be a great city without some skyscrapers.How wrong they are.

By Anonymous

Would much rather time and effort be spent on becoming Business and development friendly than on documents such as this.

By Paul M

Liverpool Council members have continuously strangled the potential this City has to offer. They lack vision and forward thinking. Blindfolded in the belief developers will bend towards their outdated ideology. The recent appeal rejection by Central government on the new central docks development being one typical example of how pathetic Liverpool Councillor’s think towards new enterprise. You only have to look at Manchester and how positive thinking councillors are in creating an ever expanding up and out city that people are proud to be part of and live in. They have an abundance of opportunities, Liverpool just has caveman mentality.

By Stephen Hart

This is positive as cities such as Paris demonstrate you can have heritage and skyscrapers which are occupied by global companies providing thousands of highly paid jobs. If Liverpool could get just a tenth of that, how amazing would that be, regeneration, investment and decent job creation. Why stop at 50 storeys though? think big and bold like the city used to.

By BuildItNow

Am afraid have lost all confidence in my beautiful City’s Council… The have ripped its heart out and replaced it with a coffer of gold… I have travelled the world and its taken a long time from other loved and admired cities to admire us in return… The council have no idea of what they are leaving behind for future generations… Shame on you all…

By Anonymous

In it`s time the Liver Building was the tallest office tower in the UK and that didn`t ruin Liverpool, just let`s get building and stop all this navel gazing, and to the poster who thinks Paris has no talls, have you seen the Montparnasse Tower, or La Defense?

By Anonymous

We have 3 beautiful buildings with the 3 graces
Let’s have a mini Manhattan on the north dock area
Enough LEGO archecture tall buildings with style not boxes
We want the wow fracture .it was sad we lost worid heritage status what did they want leave it all to rot .I love my city and proud of its history but we need to move on Everton will be the catalyst for the north let’s deliver an infrastructure to be proud of and show of to world
To finish off we have a tent fo our cruise liner terminal .the Isle of Man ferry is getting a smart new terminal
Come on Liverpool council this is a humiliating for our city get building

By T.I.R

Skyscrapers will be a positive move for the city of Liverpool

By Anonymous

Just one would be nice, it doesn’t have to loom over the Liver building but other cities seem able to zone them in the correct places.

By Charles in charge

With the availability of old water front docks waiting to be redeveloped, can you imagine how beautiful the skyline could look graced with several dozen sky scrapers? Now that’s how you can bring Liverpool into the 21st century! You could start to attract the well needed investment the city needs before it can even start to think about competing with other UK cities of a similar size.


Get them built for goodness sake

By Anonymous

Let’s Surprise the othe Cities and build Quality over Quantity..long term..Stone..Brick..and yes..steel and glass

By John lynn

Tall buildings are a very good reason to avoid these cities. Manchester has been spoilt, London is a dump and to inflict similar onto Liverpool is shortsighted.
I live in Cheshire and have to travel to Lancaster to feel welcomed.
Sky high buildings, rents and car park charges; No thank you.
Where next?

By Andy Grey Rider

Let’s start building tall buildings. It’s about time. They are welcome in the city

By Anonymous

Lol no tall buildings aren’t made for liverpool. More better off in Manchester where it’s more suited.

By Anonymous

Tall buildings policy? Just get on and build some!

By Digbuth O'Hooligan

It’s only a few people off a certain skyscraper forum who want these soulless neo blocks of flats ruining our heritage. Surprisingly enough the most vocal of them actually lives in London.

By Anonymous

Look at Manchester, it’s left Liverpool behind

By Steve

Bit too late isn’t it ?

By Anonymous

We need more affordable bungalow’s for the elderly never mind fancy apartments. And more Liverpool office’s! Let them put office’s in big skyscrapers so they can bring more jobs for our youngsters like Coca Cola, ICI, Rover Cars etc!

By Mary Woolley

Liverpool certainly not left behind

By Anonymous

Liverpool is more suited to tall buildings than any other, due to the wide river. I like the original 3 clusters idea, rather than the scatter gun approach in Manchester, and the existing talls have not taken away from the beauty of the Three Graces. Just make sure that the quality is high, and buildings look good from all angles not just from the river. The Old Hall St cluster needs an iconic building, taller than West Tower as that is not a design compatible with being Liverpool’s tallest building.

By Graham Brandwood

@Graham i agree

By Anonymous

LCC need a complete overall seriously !!!
The decisions being made in that office are laughable on the expense of the city , they are deliberately holding this city back and i cannot get my head around it .
But folk will vote them back in because they know absolutely nothing about politics or their own city for that matter .

By Anonymous

Tall buildings in Liverpool, yes please. It’s a ridiculous notion to protect the aesthetic of a skyline that is only visible from Birkenhead anyway. The taller the better.

By Anonymous

Liverpool was a World Heritage Site long before the UN was created, and it will still be one after the UN is dissolved.

By Anonymous

Why is it that only rich people will be allowed to see the river. It has happened in London all along the river from Putney to London Bridge, so many flats are Airbnb and where you could go right up to the river, in most places you can’t. Why doesn’t anybody want those towers by Anfield or Walton? Money, or should I say greed. One or two, why not but to have them lining the river is madness

By Ron

“Only rich people can see the river”, ….. that`s the kind of mentality that many have in Liverpool, they can`t stand people who are moderately well-off let alone wealthy. I doubt if people living at the marina or further along are rich but that is the mantra, and because you better yourself you are labelled “Tory”. For information you can walk all along the riverfront from the Pierhead to Brunswick and then on to Grassendale.
Furthermore why are there no towers in Anfield or Walton etc? well because the locals will kick-off as even moderate-rise developments get criticised, but anyone developing is called greedy as if it`s a crime to make money.

By Anonymous

We don’t stand out anymore ! And are becoming like a clone city !losing its character!

By Angela riozzi

Of course Liverpool needs some tall buildings zoned properly. Manchester for instance has 2 main zones that have been designated for the talls , bottom of Deansgate around Jackson st, and Greengate, with a few (too many) shorter ones scattered around but mostly away from the civic quarter. Leeds and Brum too to a slightly lesser extent. There’s a lot of great heritage buildings in Liverpool that no one would want overshadowed by groups of 50 story towers, but there are also I’m sure with a little thought and planning the right sites that would cost in even in these challenging times. It should never be a hard no.

By Anonymous

If any city is made for towers, it is Liverpool. Liverpool seems incapable of building on its assets. It has the best old architecture of any regional city in England,a perfect setting for skyscrapers. It also has the stunning Georgian quarter, which although improved, is still quite run down in places. If Manchester had a Georgian quarter, it would be populated with multi-millionaires relocating from Cheshire by now.

By Elephant

Being a Mancunian i can believe the development taking shape in the city area , 64 cranres at the last count , the great City of Liverpool has try to catch up , being a port city the skyline would look fantastic

By Anonymous

The Royal Liver Building is the crown jewel of Liverpool architecture and was a major influence on the innovation of the modern skyscraper with its reinforced concrete structure. Liverpool is not Florence, it is closer to New York and skyscrapers are entirely consistent with its heritage. Liverpool’s twin city is Shanghai as The Bund is modelled on Liverpool’s waterfront. Ironic as Shanghai is probably the most high rise city in the world now. Anyone who laments tall buildings in Liverpool belongs in a museum themselves. Time to leave the dinosaurs behind and time for Liverpool to rise again! If it doesn’t modernise it will be left behind as a sewage outlet for Manchester. Give the new generations a future!

By Alex Thomas

Really, limited to 50 floors, what happened to reaching for the sky, also any tall in liverpool tends to be ugly. Manchester are way ahead with Deansgate. Ultra modern can complement ans contrast the old. In liverpool they just buildem more ugly so is not to detract from the old.

By David Clarke

We need tall builings to show our vision. The old codgers have held this city back for decades.

By J.B

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