1,000 homes cut from revised Liverpool Festival Gardens regeneration plans

Revised plans for the regeneration of a long-derelict brownfield site in Liverpool have cut the proposed number of homes from 2,500 to 1,500, the city's council has revealed.

The Festival Gardens site, Liverpool. Image: Liverpool City Council
The Festival Gardens site, Liverpool. Image: Liverpool City Council

Plans for remediation of the 36-hectare council-owned Festival Gardens site were submitted to Liverpool City Council last week and are expected to be determined in March next year, a statement from the authority said. 

The council said the Festival Gardens site has "lain dormant" for more than 20 years. 

The local authority said it has signed an exclusivity agreement with IMGF Developments, a joint venture between ION Developments and Midia Group, to develop the site.

IMGF has proposed a masterplan that comprises 1,500 homes in blocks ranging from three to 11 storeys, alongside up to 3,250 square metres of retail, leisure and community facilities.

Liverpool City Council said it is now working with IMGF to agree a masterplan that would replace a previous masterplan approved in 2017. The 2017 plan envisioned a development of up to 2,500 new homes, 46,451 square metres of commercial and leisure floor-space, a new ferry terminal and a waterpark attraction.

If approved, a forthcoming residential planning application, based on the new masterplan, would replace an extant planning permission for 1,374 residential units and commercial uses on the site. 

The council said the new residential planning application is due to be submitted in May or June 2020.  

Liverpool City Council said the plans are expected to include a 20 per cent contribution towards affordable housing and retirement living. A submission draft of Liverpool’s local plan is going through examination and specifies that 20 per cent of all developments of 10 or more homes will be expected to be affordable.

The local authority said it expects to determine the residential application in September or October next year.

A report to be considered by the council’s cabinet this week seeks permission to sign a land agreement with IMGF and to negotiate a grant funding agreement with housing agency Homes England and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson said: "A huge amount of work has gone into understanding how this former landfill site and barren wasteland can be transformed and we are now at a very exciting stage of asking for approval to prepare the site in readiness for what could be one of the UK’s best eco-friendly housing developments."

In October, the Liverpool City Region opened consultation on a new spatial development strategy.

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