City council cabinet expected to approve a radical transformation of the former International Festival Gardens site in South Liverpool which also feature a waterpark attraction. Tony McDonough reports
A “spectacular” £700m riverside suburb will be created in Liverpool with the city council’s cabinet set to give the go-ahead this week.
The plan would see the radical transformation of the former International Festival Gardens site which could deliver up to 2,500 new homes, 500,000 sq ft of commercial and leisure floor-space, a new ferry terminal and a major waterpark attraction.
The Festival Park Liverpool masterplan was first unveiled at the MIPIM international property expo in March.
Once approved, the council will “soft market test” the proposals for the 90-acre site this summer with the aim of identifying a preferred investment partner before the end of the year.
The authority has also been approached by two major operators that specialise in developing and managing water based leisure destinations.
Both parties will be asked to prepare a more detailed proposal to consider with the option of entering into an exclusivity agreement.
Other key aims of the masterplan include creating a 5km long green corridor to the city centre, a remodelled coastal path as well as a new cultural ‘landmark’ venue to sit alongside the year-round waterpark attraction.
The Festival Park Liverpool Masterplan has been set out into distinct ‘Places:
- Dingle Bank – The residential zone – featuring a new primary school, medical centre and community hub to facilitate the mixed-use housing.
- Jericho Wharf – Social heart of the residential zone with hotels, bars and restaurants.
- Jericho Shore – The beachfront neighbourhood with residential apartments, pavement cafes, restaurants and bars, designed around an ‘Amsterdam’ styled canal frontage.
- Festival Gardens – Retention of and enhancement of the existing gardens.
- The Southern Grasslands – To be remodelled into a natural habitat for wildlife and leisure activities.
The city council, which took control of the site last year, appointed K2 Architects to create the masterplan and held a public consultation at the end of last year to gauge feedback on transforming the area into a major visitor and cultural destination.
Liverpool’s elected Mayor Joe Anderson said: “Festival Park Liverpool has the potential to be one of the UK’s great new city suburbs of the 21st century.
“This masterplan sets out the ambition to position the site as a world leader as a place to live and visit and we’re highly encouraged by the interest already being shown by developers.
There is a current outline planning consent for a 1,380 unit residential development on part of the site, valid until December 2022.