Preparation set to begin on waterfront car park demolition
Detailed logistical plans have been drawn up to demolish the fire-damaged 1,400-space car park at Liverpool’s Kings Dock, which still contains 1,100 burnt-out cars inside that have been unable to be removed due to concerns over the strength of the building.
The car park was engulfed in a blaze on New Year’s Eve, while 1,191 vehicles were parked inside it.
None of the cars will be removed before demolition because of safety concerns about the residual strength of the building. Mersey Fire & Rescue Service recently concluded that temperatures during the blaze reached 1,000 celcius, far higher than the previous estimate of 600 degrees.
Work will only start once agreement is received from the Association of British Insurers regarding the approach to the demolition and the process of removing personal belongings from the cars that are not burnt out. Liverpool City Council’s cabinet will meet next Friday to sign off the proposals.
An application for a new, nine-floor car park for 1,650 vehicles at Monarch’s Quay will be considered by the planning committee on Thursday 9 October. It will be funded by a combination of general council spending and money generated from the insurance pay out from the fire. The architect for the car park is Leach Rhodes Walker, and the contractor is Willmott Dixon.
The car park will be fitted with CCTV and payments system, electric charging points, sprinkler system, 15 motorcycle spaces and 50 cycle spaces. It will also have 100 disabled parking spaces and fully accessible fire evacuation lifts.
Mayor Joe Anderson said: “Working out how to take down the existing car park has been a hugely complex and detailed piece of work which puts public safety first.
“It has been nine months since the fire, and in that time an incredible amount of hard work has gone in to coming up with a temporary facility to enable ACC Liverpool to continue functioning as normal but also designing and submitting plans for a new car park.
“We must not forget that it has been a traumatic process for those whose cars were inside and have had to go through the process of negotiating an insurance claim.
“The new car park will be built to latest specifications and will give ACC Liverpool a facility that will more than meet its growing needs.”
Subject to planning approval, the new car park will be built in front of the Exhibition Centre on former infilled docks, and is planned for completion by spring 2020.
As a temporary measure the council is also erecting a four floor, 550 space car park adjacent to the current car park to support events at the waterfront venues. This will be completed and ready for operation in November.
Until the temporary car park completes, the area has been left with a shortfall of spaces. There is still surface parking available at Kings Dock, although planning consent was given late last year to the development of a call centre for The Contact Company on the plot, developed by YPG.
YPG was hopeful of completing the project in late 2018 or early 2019, but it has yet to start on site with the plot still being used for car parking space.
The future of the damaged car park site itself is still unknown; rumoured plans have been for a high-end hotel.