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Liverpool names team for Baltic Triangle masterplan

Liverpool City Council has appointed a team led by LDA Design to develop a spatial regeneration framework for the Baltic Triangle, an area which has seen nearly £200m invested in new developments since 2012.

LDA Design, the masterplanner behind London’s Olympic Park, has been picked to head up the team, which also features JLL, Mott Macdonald, heritage specialist Robert Bevan, and DS Emotion. LDA opened its North West office in Manchester last October, and the Baltic Triangle project represents its first project in the region.

The framework will be designed to guide future development in the Baltic Triangle and to protect its growing cluster of digital and tech businesses.

Liverpool City Council endorsed the creation of an SRF in October last year in reaction to “increasing pressure for development” in the Baltic Triangle, which it argued was “often to the detriment of existing and established uses”.

“In order to protect employment land, support the growth of the digital and creative industries sector, and ensure a sustainable mix of housing types and tenures, the city council needs to provide the local planning authority with all the tools to manage development within the area,” said the council.

“The Baltic Triangle contains a number of key sites within the city centre and it is imperative that the city council is able to effectively manage development to ensure it is of high quality, befitting of the place, and contributes to the long-term sustainability of the city.”

The area covered by LDA’s masterplan will be around 93 acres, incorporating the Cains Brewery and the emerging neighbourhood south of Upper Parliament Street.

A number of major developments, primarily apartments, have either started construction or won planning consent in the area in recent months; these include a 505-home project by Legacie Developments and designed by Falconer Chester Hall, and proposals by developer Eloquent to convert a four-storey brick warehouse into flats and commercial space.

Other ongoing schemes include a project by Baltic Creative CIC to convert the 19th-century Norfolk Street warehouse into workspace, pictured above, and a public café; and YPG’s 204-apartment scheme off Tabley Street.

A draft of the masterplan is set to go out to consultation in the summer before being formally adopted by the council as part of its 15-year Local Plan.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “The development of the Baltic Triangle is one of Liverpool’s great success stories of the past decade and this new masterplan will help guide and ensure this growth continues for the decades to come.

“Consultation with businesses and residents will be crucial to how this plan is shaped and I’m delighted we’ve appointed an internationally respected team of designers and planners who value community led design to oversee this process.

“The area’s position as one of Britain’s fastest-growing digital and creative hubs is something the city takes great pride in and we want to nurture this to ensure its future as a major engine in our economy.”

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Shame they couldn’t have had the same priority when the commercial district was being robbed of its office stock, sold off tiny unit by tiny unit overseas with promises of profit aplenty. Much of which still remains shrouded in scaffolding many years on.

Now that’s what I call a detriment to the existing use of an area, not to mention pretty devastating to the long-term sustainability of the city.

As big business has nowhere to look but Manchester, and Liverpool falls permanently off the major employer map, perhaps the city council believes that 2 million people can all fund their futures through creating websites for each other.

By Mike

@Mike Or, like firms such as New Mind, Rippleffect and Milky Tea, they could sell their expertise worldwide and create lots and lots of very well paid and skilled jobs.

There’s more than one way of earning a living and, whilst you are right that Liverpool is out of the race at the moment regarding large-scale office occupiers, we’re not going to hell in a handcart just yet.

As for the office stock that’s been converted under PDR, none of this was of interest to modern occupiers, hence it lying empty. Now, much of the space is refurbished, occupied and bringing life and spending power to the city centre. Better, surely, than closed and shuttered buildings?

By Sceptical

Hopefully re-integration of Toxteth/Dingle into the Baltic Triangle will now follow: removal of the 80’s bollards and dead-ends = neighbourhoods, streets, jobs….

By LEighteen

Liverpool City Region and Yorkshire in a recent report on National News and Guardian confirms that both regains have the highest number of growth of jobs in the UK since 2008

By billy

Billy does that mean that Sheffield is the best place in the UK?

By PDM

It also said that the employment rate is amongst the lowest in the country.

By GM

These companies all seem a bit stiff and corporate for the Baltic masterplan – to my mind anyway?
That said in regard to offices and jobs yes there are more than one way to make a living – but we need to be on them all. There is the general consensus that Liverpool is becoming a tourist destination and relying on the hospitality sector element. We need to be a good all rounder!

By Emma Fitzpatrick

@Emma 12:08 – yes, you’re quite right – and Manchester’s figures today re: 2018 office lettings (1.7m sq ft, enough to accommodate roughly 17,000 jobs) points that up neatly.

That said, Liverpool’s economy is much more broadly-based than it was as recently as the early nineties and we avoided the last recession completely (it lasted for 19 months during which unemployment in our region fell for 18 of those months).

We need to sustain this but don’t underestimate the contribution tourism and leisure are playing to our wider appeal. Not only do they bring life and spending power, they facilitate the refurbishment and occupation of empty buildings, ensuring that the city looks smarter for anyone visiting with other investments in mind. Worked for Dublin and Barcelona back in the day, after all…

By Sceptical

I know I get you Sceptical – I just worry that even if all that is booming we need the other stuff in the background – hopefully the companies that are gaining from the commissions either have – or will have an office in Liverpool to furnish the works. And I love the Baltic!

By Emma Fitzpatrick

Currently, the area is about 3rd generation up from the original regeneration and a section of the companies who sell themselves as creative but mainly sell alcohol are desperate to stop themselves being supplanted the same way the supplanted the 2nd generation.
What the area needs more than anything else is the reopening of St James station.

As for being a Tourist destination, so is Las Vegas and I’d give my eye teeth for their technology growth. https://www.reviewjournal.com/business/las-vegas-startups-flourish-as-technology-businesses-grow/ It is a gross lack of imagination to only see redevelopment as being traditional offices etc.

By John Bradley

Having been based in and around the BT for about 12 years or so it is good to see the continued growth and influx of new people, obviously this brings change and generational perspective sof what is good and bad. So if some of the original ethos can be retained that would be lovely. But change happens and rightly so, this area cannot stand still, I can see it expanding further and further.

By Man on bicycle

@Emma dont know where your getting this information that Liverpool City Region is just focusing on tourism?
LIVERPOOL is thriving dont believing all that you hear.
Public sector Film sector manufacturing sector business sector , but am sure this post will get some negative responce from someone who claims to live in Liverpool , it’s getting boring now.

By The facts

It looks like a signature living roof box.

By Kenwright Veneers

The Baltic has huge potential despite the recent glut of shoddy speculative development. The Council a little slow in getting a masterplan together, and need to hold the line on ensuring the focus remains on new jobs. Otherwise the area will eat itself.

By John Smith

Whilst I welcome this masterplan, I fear it will just be another policy document that the council will ignore- rather like they ignore their own planing policy documents, acoustic regulations and design guides. If a rogue developer in a Range Rover with a boot full off cash wants to build 200 crappy student bedsits, the council just say yes on the basis of development and job creation. I’d love to be more optimistic but the councils’ position with developers is, quite literally, that they’ve been in the missionary position so long they probably have cramp.

By Joe Sanderson

Somebody has to say it. That is one ugly and insensitive intervention. Is the heritage consultant asleep?

By zoro

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