Upper Central masterplan close to sign-off

A 2.5m sq ft regeneration of the area previously known as the Knowledge Quarter Gateway is expected to be endorsed by Liverpool City Council next week, enabling schemes to start.

The document sets out proposals for a 56-acre plot located around Lime Street and Central rail stations, linking six areas including the Adelphi Hotel and Mount Pleasant, the Fabric District, Ropewalks, the Knowledge Quarter digital and technology innovation district, Liverpool John Moores University’s Copperas Hill site and the University of Liverpool campus.

The vision for the site intended as a gateway to the £2bn Knowledge Quarter comprises a new city-centre district with 2.5m sq ft of mixed-use development opportunities, complete with pedestrianised access ways and a public realm.

The aim is to create a mix of modern design and historic buildings to generate a “positive first impression to millions of residents and visitors arriving into the city centre at Lime Street or Central stations”, Liverpool City Council said in a statement.

The cabinet is due to consider a report at a meeting on 6 March recommending that a draft spatial regeneration framework be adopted for the Upper Central area.

Once approved, the framework would be adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document to Liverpool’s Local Plan in early 2021, and then used to guide all future planning applications in the area. It follows an eight-week consultation last summer.

Outlined in the framework are plans to create a ‘super-crossing’ at Ranelagh Place, a new pedestrian link along Renshaw Street and a pedestrian route to Lime Street Station from Copperas Hill.

This would allow for improved access to the Fabric District and Paddington Village, Liverpool’s £1bn science, education and technology development, as well as the city centre, Liverpool One and the main retail area.

As part of the plans, Liverpool City Council acquired Central Station shopping centre in 2018 and is working with Merseytravel and Network Rail on proposals to expand and upgrade the station.

It is also overseeing public realm improvements for nearby St George’s Plateau as part of a £47m city centre transport connectivity scheme and proposes to redevelop the Mount Pleasant Car Park area.

The Upper Central framework team comprises Avison Young, K2 Architects, Planit-IE and Mott McDonald.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “Upper Central is vital to this city’s economic future and…this plan will help set the template to transform this area into a vibrant, innovative and creative district, which will be home to a large cluster of digital, tech, education and cultural assets, alongside exceptional transport infrastructure, areas of public realm and supporting use classes.”

Colin Sinclair, chief executive of Knowledge Quarter Liverpool, added: “The exponential growth of KQ Liverpool, along with the ongoing regeneration of Lime Street, has shone the spotlight on Upper Central – which represents one of the greatest development opportunities in the UK.”

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