MIPIM | Council seeks Festival Gardens development partner

New video footage has been released to coincide with the start of the search for a developer to undertake the next phase in the reinvention of the 1980s garden festival area into a housing district.

Architects K2 have produced this promotional fly-through and animation of how the area could look with 2,500 new homes and a “cultural garden suburb”:

The 90-acre site south of the city centre is being promoted under the name Festival Park Liverpool. There are three parts:

  • Northern development zone, 28 acres, where houses would be built
  • Festival Gardens, 25 acres, underwent a £3.7m refurbishment in 2012
  • Southern Grasslands, 37 acres

The homes are being marketed as of a wider mixed-use leisure and retail scheme alongside a new public open space on the present Southern Grasslands.

Kevin Horton, architect director at K2, told Place North West: “We’ve looked very carefully at the surrounding neighbourhoods and how we create something to fit with those diverse communities. The spaces ‘in between’ are as important as the buildings. There’s a real will locally to make this happen, and all the discussions we’ve had with developers have been positive.”

The city council, which took control of the site last year, appointed architects to create a draft masterplan and held a public consultation in November/December last year to gauge feedback on transforming the northern zone of the site into a major visitor and cultural destination.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, said: “Festival Park Liverpool presents a unique development opportunity at what is a hugely important site to Liverpool and its residents.

“We need a partner, or partners, to help realise the vision and create a cultural garden suburb which will have no equal in the UK.

“The site is fully owned by the city council and we see the Festival Park as a key component of Liverpool’s future prosperity, addressing the need for more quality homes and complementing what the city is achieving at the Knowledge Quarter and Liverpool Waters.”

An updated masterplan is to be submitted to the council’s Cabinet in the next six weeks.

A recommendation will be submitted that Festival Park Liverpool is taken forward as a strategic priority and once approved, the refined masterplan will serve as a development framework to inform any future planning applications.

There is a current outline planning consent for a 1,380-unit residential development on part of the site, valid until December 2022.

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The Garden Featival site was a wonderful resource for Liverpool and can be again. How did it come about? Who funded it, originally?

By Mandarin

Liverpool Festival Park’s one of the most exciting locations on the Liverpool coast and just a short walk from the central Waterfront. Different from the new North Shore/Ten Streets etc. Think Brisbane south of the river and you get the feel.

By Liverpool Coast

The international garden festival in Liverpool 1984 was the first in the country and followed a German model of urban regeneration. Many don’t realise that two thirds of the site is now attractive seaside housing and apartments giving onto Otterspool Promenade. The difficult bit was the former landfill area. The Chinese and Japanese Gardens are still there within the core Festival Gardens site run by Landlife and open every day.

By Liverpool Coast

Plenty of interest from what I have seen and heard

By Kevin

Thanks Liverpool Coast. Who initiated the project? How was it funded? I wonder if this is a model that could be rolled out elsewhere in Liverpool or beyond?

By Mandarin

I know it’s complete blue sky thinking but – as well as the resi / commercial elements, something along the lines of the ‘gardens by the bay’ in Singapore would be amazing in this location.

By Sunny-way

I went to the Garden festival in the 80s, when Liverpool was on life support. It is nice to see how the city has bounced back,and long may this continue. The betrayal of Liverpool and the wider North, by the Thatcher government, must never be underestimated ,but this can be a lasting reminder to show how far the city has come,since those grim days.

By Elephant

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