Ollier Smurthwaite is the architect for the project. Credit: via planning documents

Romal wins appeal over £100m Liverpool Waters scheme 

Permission has been granted for the 330-home Central Docks project following an inquiry.

Romal Capital appealed against the non-determination of its plans, set across three blocks of four to nine storeys,  after Liverpool City Council had failed to make a decision on the £100m proposal within the statutory timeframe. 

Now, the planning inspectorate has allowed the appeal despite the city council’s concerns about the project, clearing the path for the development. 

The city council put forward the following concerns about the development ahead of the inquiry:

  • Harm caused by infilling of West Waterloo Dock 
  • The scheme would impinge on land earmarked in the Liverpool Waters masterplan for a public square 
  • The proposed development contains too many one-bedroom apartments. 

The decision to allow the scheme, part of Peel L&P’s £5bn Liverpool Waters masterplan, comes more than three years after Romal first put plans forward for a residential development on the Central Docks site. 

In 2019, the company proposed creating 643 apartments but then scaled back its plans. 

The 330-home iteration approved at appeal will take the total number of apartments Romal has developed at Liverpool Waters to 567. 

Romal has already developed Quay Central and Park Central, totalling 237 apartments. 

Footprint Design is the architect for the project and Arup is advising on planning. 

“I’m delighted with the appeal outcome and now it’s finally time to move forward to deliver on our promises to deliver the project,” said Greg Malouf, chief executive of Romal Capital.

“This development proposal has now gone through a robust process over the past four years with all sides being heard and a decision has been made. We can now move our focus to delivering homes and building a new neighbourhood on what was a derelict site.”

He added: “We look forward to working closely with Liverpool City Council to boost investment, jobs and growth. It’s one of the best cities in the UK and we look forward to delivering great results for it. I would like to thank my team for their dedication in bringing this to a resolution.”

Read the full appeal decision.

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Great news, showing that NIMBY’s and small time thinking councillors are wrong.
This will provide new homes and footfall for the area and will be part of a greater generative pathway to Everton’s new stadium at BMD.
The “red herring” point about the public space was always open to being discredited as it is proposed on the other side of the dock.
What this shows is the total disarray that LCC is in and more recent revelations provide cause for concern about it’s management and weak willed officials. With this new building it will more or less replicate the old Waterloo dock warehouses in it’s heyday.

By Liverpolitis

Great news

By Anonymous

Great news!

By On the dock!

Best news this week, it`s time the anti-development , anti-progress crowd were put in their place, hopefully Romal can get on site asap, meanwhile another scheme in Bootle has gone to appeal by Integritas ?, it`s a well designed £33m project that will bring life to a currently moribund location, wish them success.

By Anonymous

Great news!

By Martin Sloman

Amazing news. Get this built! Those pesky neighbours across the way are a hindrance to development in the city. I’m so happy they won 😍

By Anonymous

The unnecessary delay in this project is a reflection of the shortsightedness of LCC and their failure to deal with the NIMBY Waterloo warehouse brigade. The land was always part of Liverpool Waters, the derelict dock can only be enhanced by the development and too many one bedroom apartments is a distraction. Allow the developers to get on with Liverpool Waters and lets see the investment and jobs benefit the North of Liverpool.


Well done to Greg Malouf for staying the course on this. The lack of ambition, ability, vision and commerciality within Liverpool council, meanwhile, never ceases to amaze.

By Sceptical

Good news for a good quality project which will bring life to the area ….whilst having virtually no impact upon the Dock as some of the NIMBYs who were actually more concerned about their view not heritage. But more importantly it should make the city council think twice before it turns down good quality schemes

By George

LCC finally waking up? Something tells me probably not but y’know..every little victory.

By Sgt Goff

Great this has won, and I am fed up with councillors wasting our money on opposing everything that does not fit into their political agenda. Local councillors should remember who’s money they are using when objecting to everything. I couldn’t see them using their own money?

By Town Hall Tommy

When LCC’s planning decisions were investigated forensically they fell apart. Inconsistent, illogical, petty and beholden to a small but very vocal crowd backed by local councillors and MP Kim Johnson. The application had always conformed to the existing Liverpool Waters masterplan and yet had been stuck in the system being kicked around like a political football for years.


Every local resident I know does not want this built. Lazy design, and lazy location that adds nothing up the city.

By Anonymous

Vote them out

By Anonymous

Shocking decision. We stopped them before we’ll stop them again before they ruin our heritage.

By Johnson

Terrible decision. Disaster for the local area.


Thank god we won one against this Marxist council. Let’s have some more.

By Sidney

@Johnson, the whole of Waterloo Dock was covered with warehouses like this. Just because it might impede the view of a privileged gated community has nothing to do with it. This is a designated development area. What is there now is a decaying piece of old dock wall and quay. Appeal if you want but not with council tax payers money.
Do you and the other members of the gated community want the whole
area to fall into disrepair and only be accessed by the privileged few?
The Water Front is for all.

By On the dock!

Great news more land freed for homes and leisure!

By Accept it!

The city may be in desperate need of more investment but not at any cost. This is neither needed or wanted by people who actually live in the area.

By Anon2

@Johnson, what exactly do you mean save our heritage? Your view, the decrepit old dock wall?

By On the dock.

The ATIMBY’s may be voting for this as a reaction to Liverpool apparently being starved of development funds, but it should be about quality not just for building sake. Quality this is not.

By Anonymous

Nothing to do with losing a view. But the piling from the IOM terminal building alone caused dozens to leave the Quay and wrecked my mental health, and that was relatively small.

Now years of digging, drilling and piling, the latter of which with the size of the infill will go on for months and months.

Also, from my flat, I don’t lose my view, so not a Nimby. Just concerned about the endless noise of construction for years to come that’s detrimental to a lot of people’s mental health.

By Anonymous

Really pleased to see this decision reversed. This is an important development for the city.

By Mike Broad

if this inspector had handled the Brunswick Tower appeal we would have had a classy 50 storey building in the South Docks, there was never a sound reason for it`s refusal .

By Anonymous

Great news. The development of the north docks has been ridiculously slow. Time to get on with it and create an area that can match forward looking cities. Only in Liverpool could local politicians and a small number of NIMBYs prefer stagnation to investment and growth.

By mikel5

Fantastic development in a fantastic location. This scheme links everything up and gives us a lively riverside walk linking up to Bramley Moore Dock extending the accessible waterfront by about 2 miles! Great news for Liverpool and its North Shore!

By Pool of Life

I applaud Romal for having the strength of conviction to appeal and hope they will be amply rewarded. LCC need to be challenged for allowing political objectives to restrict commercially driven deliverable ambitions.

By Hugh Frost, Beetham Ltd

A terrible decision. The question now is, will it stall?

By Bixteth boy

The concerns from some over ‘ruining’ heritage and wildlife were of course bunkum. This was always about river views and local politics. Oh and the geese will be ok, the Mersey has the biggest breeding population in Britain 🙂

By LEighteen

This must be a bonus for the residents in Waterloo Dock, much needed retail facilities and the view of Birkenhead removed?

By Look on the bright side.

Case won and rightly so !!
Funds in place so will get built , now lets start building the North shore up towards the new Everton stadium and Ten Streets .
Onwards and upwards for Liverpool .

By Anonymous

I used to live in Waterloo Warehouse. There was a residents’ meeting at which many complained about the amount of wagons using the dock road to, you know, access the docks. I made the point that if you don’t like wagons, why buy a home next to a working port. It went down very poorly. There was a huge amount of derelict land around that was always likely to be developed and now we have people complaining that this is happening, too. So I ask again: having bought a property in a working port surrounded by development land, why are you now surprised that development is happening?

By Buyer Beware

The only thing sadder than the NIMBY bit is the person who managed to shoehorn in “Marxist”. There is a lot of unreasoned opinion on both sides, but the NIMBY’s claims of heritage and wildlife damage, have been obliterated. What rational arguments there are, back development.
The claims of poor design or a combination of lack of taste and hatred of modernity coupled with a hope that they can prevent the construction of anything by simply claiming they are waiting for something better to come along. The city has been waiting since the 80s for something better, but there is nothing better on the horizon. We will have to put up with more than adequate. People cannot shelter under fictitious aspirations and the promise of jam tomorrow.
If construction noise causes you anguish, then the hustle and bustle of city centre life is not for you. If you choose to live in the city centre, you don’t get to change its character to suit your needs.
The entire City Region is dependent on the city centre. The relevant community for developments in this area is the city region, not the local parish.


My goodness what is wrong with this development? who is Liverpool’s real enemy ? it’s own council

By Anonymous

Again I cannot see my comment but having lived in Waterloo Warehouse since the early 90s and loving the Architectural beauty that she is I am delighted that this development is taking place … sick of the sight of Birkenhead 😂

By David

Agree with all the comments celebrating this however, it is a sad state of affairs we find our City in when the best news we’ve had in ages is the approval of an 8-10 storey building. Also the residents complaining about their views of the mersey…. the only way to guarantee river views is to buy river front property, not 3 parcels off the waterfront

By Michael

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