Heritage campaigners launch legal challenge to consent for 'intrusive' Liverpool zipwire

The Victorian Society has launched a legal bid to overturn Liverpool City Council's planning permission for a zipwire tourist attraction in the city centre, arguing that the development should have required listed building consent and officers failed to properly advise members on its potential heritage impacts.

Liverpool's Walker Art Gallery and Central Library (Photo © Carroll Pierce, cc-by-sa/2.0)
Liverpool's Walker Art Gallery and Central Library (Photo © Carroll Pierce, cc-by-sa/2.0)

In a statement issued last week, the built heritage protection charity said it has launched a legal challenge to the decision to allow the "intrusive" zipwire.

The statement said that one end of the proposed zipwire would land on the roof of the Central Library, a listed building within the city's World Heritage Site.

It went on to say the development would also cause harm to the setting of other historic buildings nearby, including the Grade I-listed St George's Hall and a number of memorials.

"The Victorian Society has applied to the High Court for leave for a judicial review into Liverpool City Council's decision to grant planning permission for the proposal, and also not to require listed building consent for it", the statement said.

It added that Liverpool Council "should have required the applicant to apply for listed building consent, given the visual impact of the zipwire on the Central Library, and their officer's report for the planning permission application failed to give correct guidance on the appropriate weight that should have been given to heritage factors when considering the decision".

The council approved the scheme at the end of June. A planning committee report advised members that the proposed development would result in "some harm to designated heritage assets", but added this would be "less than substantial" and was outweighed by the public benefits of the proposal.

Planning barrister Richard Harwood QC of 39 Essex Chambers tweeted last week that he was acting for the Victorian Society in the case.

Liverpool City Council declined to comment.

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