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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 October 2006, 14:03 GMT 15:03 UK
Waterfront plan decision put back
Proposed Mann Island development (picture courtesy of Countryside Properties)
The granite-clad buildings are cut into different shapes
A decision has been delayed on plans for the former site of Liverpool's doomed Fourth Grace project.

The 120m waterfront scheme consists of three wedge-shaped buildings on Mann Island, built next to the controversial X-shaped Museum of Liverpool.

The city's planning committee should have discussed the plans on Tuesday.

But a report on its suitability, by Unesco and the International Council on Monuments and Sites, was not received by the council until Monday night.

A council spokesman said the committee would now hear the application on 7 November.

"It was felt members needed time to consider the report," said a council spokesman.

'Harm' claim

The city's waterfront was given World Heritage Status in 2004 with inspectors from UNESCO and the International Council on Monuments and Sites visiting the city last week to check on future developments.

Opponents claim the buildings, two of which will be residential, could harm the area's architectural heritage.

Among the groups opposing the scheme include the Liverpool Preservation Trust, The Victorian Society and Albert Dock Residents' Association.

This building represents the future
David Wade-Smith, Liverpool Vision

Some claim the modern scheme would cause serious harm to the architectural and historic significance of the Liverpool waterfront.

But supporters say the structures will complement, rather than compete with, the existing buildings.

The three granite-clad buildings would house more than 300 apartments in two buildings, as well as offices, shops, bars and restaurants.

'Important scheme'

Developers Neptune and Countryside Properties said the buildings will frame views of the city's Three Graces - the Port of Liverpool Building, Cunard Building and the Liver Building.

Rob Mason, Neptune development director, said that they understand the need for the city council to study the World Heritage report.

"We remain in close liaison with the city and look forward to the next meeting of the planning committee," he added.

The plans are backed by English Heritage, Liverpool Vision and the North West Development Agency.

David Wade-Smith, of regeneration agency Liverpool Vision, said the buildings were right for the 21st Century.

"It's such an important scheme for the city and an important scheme for the waterfront.

"It's also a very high quality piece of modern architecture to complement the heritage of the Mersey waterfront."

Mr Wade-Smith said he was confident the development would not affect the city's world heritage status and urged critics to consider the time they would be built in.

"I'd ask them to look back 100 years when people were objecting so strongly to buildings such as the Liver Building.

"This building represents the future."




SEE ALSO
Fears over world heritage status
17 Oct 06 |  Merseyside
5m European boost for new museum
05 Jul 06 |  Merseyside
City museum's 32m grant approved
20 Apr 06 |  Merseyside
Boost to waterfront museum plans
28 Jan 05 |  Merseyside
Fourth Grace 'flawed from start'
06 Dec 04 |  Merseyside
Fourth Grace plans 'unworkable'
19 Jul 04 |  Merseyside

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