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Key milestones identified for Mersey waterfront development

Liverpool City Council has set out a timetable to transform a former landfill site. The site to be transformed was once formed part of the International Garden Festival celebrations in 1984 into a ‘green community’.

A report will be sent to the city council’s cabinet on Friday 6th December, which outlines a programme of activity which could lead to the building of almost 1,500 ‘eco-friendly homes’. The homes will be built along prime waterfront land on the southern shoreline of the River Mersey.

The report identifies four major stepping stones for a comprehensive regeneration of the 28 acre site, which has lain dormant for more than 20 years:

  • Submit planning application for remediation of the Development Zone (see note below on zones) in December 2019
  • Accept grant funding from Homes England
  • Apply for funding from Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to fund remediation and infrastructure works
  • Negotiate and complete legal agreements with IMGF Developments Ltd, to pave the way for a residential planning application for 1,500 homes by Summer 2020

The city council’s intention is to facilitate site remediation and ground infrastructure works and then sell the land for the delivery of new homes to create the green community, which would include extended parkland and an upgrade to the adjacent Festival Gardens.

IMGF Developments Ltd, a joint venture between ION Developments Limited and Midia Group, are producing a full residential masterplan and will work closely with the city council on a consultation programme with the neighbouring communities.

The site has attracted a £9.9m boost from Homes England which will kick start the essential remediation work on the site, with the city council seeking additional support from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to complete the works.

It is anticipated that, pending planning permissions, the first homes could be available by 2022.

The cabinet report is also seeking authority to procure experts to oversee the remediation strategy, the treatment of the soil and waste, and a contract for the management of the ground gas management system.

Arup have been appointed by Liverpool City Council to produce and submit the remediation planning application, which will encompass a comprehensive excavation, processing and reuse strategy of the top 4-6 metre layer of material across the Development Zone. This will provide a comprehensive, industry tested and supported method to create a platform for future residential development.

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has agreed to contribute up to £150,000 towards the total cost of a pre-remediation material processing trial of 1,000 cubic meters, which will assist in reducing the remediation programme. It is also a pre-requisite of the Environment Agency, so that the site qualifies as a pilot project to demonstrate an innovative approach to waste processing and protecting groundwater.


The Liverpool Festival Gardens site, which Liverpool City Council purchased in 2015, is split into three distinct zones:

  • Development Zone – 28 acres incorporating the former ‘Pleasure Island’ dome, plaza, and waterfront bund.
  • The Gardens – 25 acres of Oriental Gardens set around a sizeable landscaped mound with large surface car park remaining from Festival Gardens.
  • Southern Grasslands – 37 acres of former Festival Gardens land that has self-seeded.

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