Liverpool launches consultation on public realm strategy

Liverpool City Council has launched a major public consultation on how future development schemes can improve their surrounding environment.

A statutory six-week consultation on the council’s draft Public Realm Strategy begins today and runs until Monday, 9 May.

The public can go online to read the document and give their feedback at: www.liverpool.gov.uk/publicrealmconsultation

The draft strategy, which has been devised in collaboration with local communities, businesses and major stakeholders across the city, aims to ensure the delivery of high quality public realm across the whole city.

The strategy also sets out a major shift by the city council to embrace the idea of “20-minute neighbourhoods” and by being more inclusive it’s also a key aim of the Mayoral Triple Lock, which is focused on people, planet and equality.

With amenities a short distance away, this strategy will encourage more walking and cycling and will help support Liverpool’s ambition to become a UNICEF child-friendly city.

The city council will also seek to ensure developers deliver quality schemes that fit the city’s vision through the introduction of a ‘design ‘toolkit’ for different types of spaces including streets, parks and squares. Developers will in future be required to show how these design requirements are embedded into their proposals.

Following the consultation the council will aim for the strategy to be formally adopted. It will then be used to guide all future planning applications and will ensure developments are designed with these key principles embedded.

If adopted, the strategy would be legally binding as a Supplementary Planning Document and would also underpin the city’s recently approved Local Plan.

The Public Realm Strategy is seen as a key part of the city council’s placemaking programme which is focused on three major priorities :

• To attract inward investment
• To encourage healthy and active lifestyles
• To improve climate resilience through increased green infrastructure

The strategy also sets out how it will connect neighbourhoods across Liverpool by introducing:

A citywide network of connected green spaces driven by movement, safety and activity
A Community Network – shaping neighbourhoods around public realm to create a community driven and walkable and cycle friendly city, including a proposal for 20-minute neighbourhoods.
A City Network – a distinctive and green city centre shaped by world-class public realm designed for people over vehicles, including reducing the dominance of the car.

A ‘live’ schedule of public realm projects will also be included to ensure a strategic and co-ordinated approach in how developer contributions are spent and that also fit with the overall vision for the economic growth of the city.

A series of projects have been identified as ‘exemplar’ projects to illustrate how the strategy’s principles could be applied.

Monument Place – the vision is for a creative hub within the city. The square could be used as a space for markets and events, with enhanced planting and routes.
Dale Street – to become an iconic pedestrian-led street, and for it be re-imagined with enhanced green infrastructure including trees and rain gardens.
St George’s Gateway – create new and enhanced public realm within an iconic site that will bring nature and landscape into the heart of the city centre.
Town Hall/Castle Street – to create a beautiful and highly active linear square at the confluence of Castle Street and Dale Street.
Baltic Green – to create a highly distinctive and inclusive community space for the Baltic Triangle.

CONSULTATION NOTES:

There will be many options for you to get involved with this consultation.

You can go online at www.liverpool.gov.uk/publicrealmconsultation or they can go to the Central Library or The Cunard Building to request to read the draft strategy and make written comments there.

The council’s planning team is also seeking to hold two virtual consultation workshop events. Details of these are to be announced shortly.

Councillor Sarah Doyle, Cabinet member for Development and Economy, said: “I want Liverpool to be defined by how inclusive our neighbourhoods are – every bit as much as we are renowned for our world-class cultural heritage.

“Liverpool’s future should have quality public realm written right through it and it’s vital our residents help shape the spaces they live, travel, work and play in. I urge all residents to have their say and get involved in our public consultation.

“We want Liverpool to be a thriving, sustainable, and fair city for everyone and if adopted this Public Realm Strategy would be a key tool in how we go about achieving that, by creating and improving the city’s physical environment with quality embedded in design right through to delivery.

“The city’s public realm is the place where the spirit and energy of our people is harnessed – it’s the canvas to make, participate, and play in beautiful surroundings. By creating clean, accessible and integrated infrastructure, we can help ensure everyone plays their part in responding to the climate emergency and the city’s transition to zero carbon.

“By creating streets and spaces that are fun, inclusive, safe and exciting places to be we’re putting the building blocks in for Liverpool to be a greener, healthier and more welcoming city fit for the environmental and economic challenges and opportunities the 21st century is presenting.

“I hope everyone gets involved in this consultation because their feedback will be vital to ensuring Liverpool is a city for the people, by the people and of the people.”

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