Approval for Brock Carmichael and Hodder blocks follows Unesco warning

Liverpool City Council has approved the construction of 31-storey and 15-storey residential blocks a short distance from the historic Pier Head area just weeks after a warning that its Unesco World Heritage site status was under threat.

The schemes, by Brock Carmichael Architects and Hodder & Partners, are part of Peel Land and Property’s £5.5bn Liverpool Waters development, west of the city’s “Three Graces” buildings – the grade I listed Royal Liver Building, and the Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool Building, both grade II*.

Brock Carmichael’s 31-storey Hive City Docks scheme will house 278 apartments with amenities including a top floor restaurant.

Hodder’s 15-storey Plaza 1821 building will have 105 apartments targeted at the private-rented sector.The buildings are destined for adjacent plots at Princes Dock, which opened in 1821.

In June, global heritage watchdog Unesco said it was concerned about the impact of high-rise development on Liverpool’s World Heritage Site, particularly in relation to the over-arching 60-hectare Liverpool Waters scheme, and said it would consider revoking the status next year unless steps were taken to safeguard views.

However recommending both schemes for approval at yesterday’s Planning Committee, planning officers said government heritage adviser Historic England did not believe the structures would be harmful to the Pier Head buildings but would “be read as part of the established commercial district”.

Officers said the 31-storey block would “strengthen the urban form and reinforce the monumental scale of buildings along this western side of The Strand” and complement the recently- approved 34-storey Lexington Tower, designed by Falconer Chester Hall Architects.

“It will help to preserve and enhance the character, setting, distinctiveness and Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site, its various landmarks and listed buildings, and the Castle Street Conservation area,” they said.

Peel Land and Property development director Neil Baumber said the approvals bring the firm closer to bringing life back to Liverpool’s historic docks.

Plaza 1821

Hodder&Partners’ Plaza 1821 seen through the grade-II listed dock wall to its rear