Capes has ben in post a little over 18 months. Credit: via IfWeRanTheZoo

Peel L&P ready to accelerate £5.5bn Liverpool Waters

With £800m of projects currently on site and more to come, the man leading the 150-acre regeneration of the city’s northern docklands has rubbished the idea that the company is dallying on delivery. 

“There isn’t a lack of progress,” said Chris Capes. “I would challenge [people that] say that there’s not a lot happening.” 

Feeding into the perception that Peel is sitting on its hands is the sheer size of the site. Capes concedes that people want to see activity but creating a buzzy building site vibe on the entirety of such a large swathe of land is tough. 

Another factor is the amount of recent news coming out of Wirral Waters, another Peel regeneration project over the water. In recent months, several schemes have started on site including the 500-apartment Millers Quay. 

Development comes in cycles, Capes says. There are bound to be peaks and troughs in terms of activity. 

At Liverpool Waters, a peak might be on the horizon. 

In recent weeks, work on two residential schemes comprising 600 homes has started on site; Romal Capital’s 330-home Central Docks and Patagonia Place, a 278-apartment project being delivered by X1. 

The new Isle of Man Ferry Terminal is nearing completion, while Everton FC’s £500m stadium is motoring along. 

Capes is also waiting patiently for Liverpool City Council to approve a planning application for infrastructure work that could unlock land for more than 2,300 homes at Central Docks, and a four-acre park. 

Central Park Aerial Illustrative CGI Peel LP p Peel LP

The next phase of work features a four-acre park. Credit: via Peel L&P

“I feel we’re building momentum,” says Capes. “I think we’re going to start seeing a considerable amount of activity over the next two or three years.” 

Capes is keen to stress that there is a huge amount of work going on behind the scenes at Liverpool Waters and has urged patience from stakeholders. 

“It is really easy to criticise and not really understand the detail and the time that goes into development. 

“These things don’t happen overnight, they take a long time to deliver. We’ve got a 30-year planning permission and we are 10 years in.” 

The 31-storey Patagonia Place is an instructive case study when it comes to demonstrating the tricky business of development – especially at present. 

Peel L&P secured planning approval for the project in 2020 and agreed to sell the site to Your Housing Group the following year. 

However, last year the housing association pulled out of the project, forcing Peel back to the drawing board. 

In February, more than a year after YHG and Peel parted ways, the developer agreed to sell the site to long-time collaborator X1, a company it has worked with at MediaCity, Manchester Waters, and Trafford Waters. 

With enabling work underway, Peel can now draw a line under the previous difficulties and look ahead. 

Patagonia Place at Liverpool Waters X p If We Ran the Zoo

X1 will deliver Patagonia Place. Credit: via If We Ran the Zoo

“There’s a relief that we have got it over the line but there is excitement around that building and how that will impact on the place,” Capes said. 

What comes across when speaking to Capes is his delight at being involved in a project that, once complete, could effectively expand Liverpool northwards by two kilometres. 

“It is an amazing development opportunity and that is what keeps me coming back to work every day. Making a difference, I suppose, is what comes down to.” 

When Capes took the job in 2021, he did so with the intention of seeing it through to completion.  

And, like anyone leading such an enormous regeneration project, he will be under an enormous amount of scrutiny over the next 20 years. 

“There’s a massive amount of passion about the city from the people that live here,” he said. “You’re left in no uncertain terms about what people want to see.  

“We are the guardians of the land. The responsibility sits with us to develop it.” 

Your Comments

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He makes a reasonable case but there’s definitely been more trough than peak. Not all on his watch of course.

By Bob Allatt

The current plans are so disappointing. Why Liverpool don’t develop this area with dozens of skyscrapers, with an iconic looking supertall as a centrepiece is beyond me. Such an opportunity to put the city on the global map. I guess we’ll all have to settle for a mediocre development.


Sounds positive for Liverpool Waters but there ain`t much of a clue as to what future activity we`re going to see or who they are talking to. He mentions £800m of work underway but really around £600m of that is the Everton stadium and IOM ferry terminal which were never really part of their plans. The cruise-liner terminal sadly has been dropped by the council so here`s the chance for Peel to deliver this high-profile project themselves while surely they can attract a top hotel operator to build or lease the hotel element of this. Patagonia Place is good news as is the long delayed and much amended Romal central docks scheme, meanwhile the new park is to be applauded. The land beyond Waterloo Dock and up to the Everton Stadium looks to be a developers dream which hopefully soon will become reality.

By Anonymous

Accelerates? Hmmm speed is relative and this is definitely a different frame of reference to the one most of us occupy.

By Jon

Full credit to PEEL. Yes at times I have been bemused with the slow pace however, I’ve taken on board the comments. And as the years fall by transition will happen more and more.

By mark cooper

We support the renewed momentum with optimism and trust LCC endorse the current plans and future ones and not inhibit any large scale new build.

By Liverpool4Progress

You get the feeling if the Mersey ran through Manchester..all projects would be nearing completion

By Tercol

I don’t see why people are chuntering on….if it was millions of pounds of your money being ploughed into a volatile market you’d take your time. Plans look good but Liverpool / Peel need to avoid Manchester’s fate of being plastered in anonymous blocks. Liverpool is playing catch-up but they’ve more of a chance of creating a true sense of place and destination than Manchester which just seems a chaotic boom town where anything goes.

By Sceptic

Peel only know was about brakes not acceleration when it comes to so called Liverpool Waters.

By Anon2

The Mersey does run through Manchester, it starts in Stockport then across the south side of Manchester.

By Riverman

Easy to knock a visionary developer seeking to create new neighbourhoods / quarter. Anchor developments at Princes Dock, Waterloo Dock (held back by some local residents and an edgy Council), IOM new ferry terminal and the New Everton Stadium. A shame the Council hasn’t been able to add the Cruise liner terminal but clearly momentum is growing, just needs same vision from the planners and support for infrastructure.


The river Mersey does actually run through the city borough of Manchester

By Nwh

When a forest of cranes adorn LW’s site I will be happy.

By Liverpolitis

Let’s hope they actually do something substantial now. Really Princes Dock should have been finished years ago, with a mixture of towers, hotels and A grade office space,instead we have marquees and empty plots in one of Europes prime locations. If there’s no intention sell it to Canary Wharf Group.

By GetItBuilt!

Hopefully these monstrous ideas stay just as ideas.

By Bixteth boy

I’ve been hearing announcements and re-announcements regarding Liverpool Waters for the last 20 years, it doesn’t look much different to me. Get a move on, because at this rate we’ll all be pushing up the daisies before there’s any meaningful progress.

By LordLiverpool

Why would we want to “avoid Manchester`s fate”, it`s a boomtown, and the reason is it attracts big investors, which is exactly what Liverpool needs, the difference is the market is allowed to develop , unlike Liverpool where it is restrained by the council and heritage zealots.

By Anonymous

Opposed to the blocks that have gone up in Liverpool?

By Oh dear

How can it “expand Liverpool northwards 2km”??rubbish…Bootle and Sefton are there

By Adrian

Sure Sceptic, but rather a slightly chaotic but ongoing boom than a slow fizzle. Even a sparkler would be nice.

By Septic

I ‘echo’the comments of MC written below . Liverpool City used to be a “tower of strength” , a beacon for the nation ; only the football team and horses have maintained such historical qualities….build up not down…..reach for the sky , make the City blossom ‘……

By Shaun Mackin

Liverpool looks good and will look even better soon , the towers will come eventually , and even now it has the edge over places like Manchester to be fair ,Location lifestyle and attractiveness.
Liverpool will build tall but will try to avoid them 60s outdated boxes fortunately and yes Manchester seems to be anything goes which is reckless.

By Anonymous

@Bixteth boy Your a minority bud.

By Anonymous

I wouldn’t get too excited about skyscrapers. This isn’t London or Manchester and too many people here simply don’t want them.

By Mersey beat

@ Merseybeat, the people you claim don`t want tall buildings are the types who don`t understand market forces or how the development sector works, and some of these people are openly against the market and the development sector full stop.
Until Liverpool works with the market and allows it a certain level of freedom then we struggle for investment, we struggle for jobs, and we struggle for a better future.

By Anonymous

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