Home » Dutch experts lead on 25-year vision for waterfront – Liverpool Business News

Dutch experts lead on 25-year vision for waterfront – Liverpool Business News

Dutch urban design specialist West 8 and Manchester architect BDP are chosen to develop a 25-year ‘ambitious and visionary plan’ for Liverpool waterfront. Tony McDonough reports

A team of experts will devise a 25-year plan for the waterfront. Picture by Tony McDonough


A team of international experts with experience in New York, Toronto, Shanghai and Hong Kong have been tasked with developing a new 25-year vision for Liverpool waterfront.

Liverpool City Council has appointed Netherlands-based urban design and landscape architecture firm, West 8, together with Manchester architects and engineers BDP. It has asked them to create “an ambitious and visionary plan’ for the waterfront.

Headquartered in Rotterdam, West 8 has helped design and develop major waterfront regeneration projects in New York, Toronto, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Hamburg and Rotterdam.

BDP is already well known in Liverpool having worked on the Liverpool ONE masterplan, the redevelopment of Aintree Racecourse, the new Alder Hey Hospital and Everton FC’s new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.

This team of experts will work free from the shackles of World Heritage Status. In summer 2021 UNESCO deleted Liverpool waterfront from its list of World Heritage Sites.

This followed a near decade-long row over the height of proposed new buildings and came to a head over the construction of Everton’s new stadium at Liverpool Waters which has seen the partial infilling of a Grade II-listed Victorian dock.

With a number of changes to its senior team of officers over the last year or so, the city council has emerged from the fallout from the damning Max Caller reports into its governance with a determination to be bolder when it comes to development.

A test of this commitment may come in the form of a proposed residential development at the King Edward Triangle, close to the waterfront. LBN revealed this month that Home Bargains tycoon Tom Morris is keen to build Liverpool’s tallest-ever building at the site.

Earlier this week Liverpool City Council’s planning committee gave the green light to a £110m project that will see 507 new apartments built in the city’s Ten Streets district, across four buildings.

Other major regeneration projects are due to come to fruition, most notably a potential significant housing scheme at Festival Gardens. The council is also close to finalising the design and delivery strategy for Kings Dock’s further development.

National Museums Liverpool and Tate Liverpool are currently leading on regeneration projects at their Royal Albert Dock buildings, including the historic Canning Dock, and major redevelopment will be coming forward as part of the Liverpool Waters scheme.

West 8 and BDP will be supported by consultants at WSP (connectivity and movement) and Ekosgen (social impact).

They will aim for “meaningful engagement” with Liverpool’s communities, residents, and businesses and key stakeholders, such as Liverpool BID Company, Grosvenor, Tate Liverpool, and major land-owners such as Peel Land and Property.

While Liverpool’s waterfront is a thriving destination there are challenges around inequality and deprivation in adjoining neighbourhoods, and there are disparities between the demographics of the wards along and adjoining the waterfront.


Liverpool city centre and waterfront are set for further changes
Everton FC
View from the South Stand of the new Everton FC stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock. Picture by Everton FC


It is intended that the final waterfront plan will be taken forward for adoption as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). This would be informed by Liverpool’s Local Plan, which was adopted in 2022.

Nuala Gallagher, corporate director of city development at the council, said: “Liverpool’s waterfront is one of the UK’s most iconic destinations and one of the principal reasons we’re one of the UK’s most visited cities and one of the most filmed in Europe.

“Such is our ambition for the waterfront’s future, we need truly world-class experts who lead their fields – and that is exactly what we have in appointing West 8 and BDP and the wider team.”

Martin Biewenga, partner (and urban designer) at West 8, added: “We are very excited for this marvellous opportunity to start working on Liverpool’s phenomenal waterfront.

“We are inspired by its rich history and heritage, and we see many opportunities to better link Liverpool’s diverse communities to the waterfront and to have their voice heard.”

This project will be managed from the BDP Liverpool office. Mark Braund, head of BDP’s Liverpool studio, said: “We feel proud to be helping Liverpool shape the vision for a strategy that will change the face of the city and bring more coherence and resilience to the area, creating a more prosperous, engaging, healthy and natural waterfront.”