In 2019, there were more than £14bn worth of regeneration projects on-site or in progress in the city of Liverpool. Billions of pounds of projects had already completed, and many more are in the pipeline as part of the council’s Liverpool Local Plan to create 35,000 new homes, develop 370 acres of land and add 38,000 jobs to the local economy by 2033.

Since the launch of the local plan, developers and overseas investors have taken note in this thriving city. However, changes to Building Regulations announced by the government at the end of 2019 will impact a major part of the plan – which sets out to ensure sustainability is integrated into every development in the city and to make significant social, environmental and economic improvements.

International interest
Just as interest from China in neighbouring Manchester has rocketed – with a 2018 survey revealing investment rose by 200 per cent – real estate heavyweights from America are adding significant value to the Liverpool residential scene. In the last 18 months, investment into Liverpool from US companies surged; of the £361m invested into the region in 2018, £156m came from American money – a ten-fold leap from the £15m recorded in 2017.

Chicago-based real estate investment giants, Heitman, bought into the 200-apartment scheme at the Baltic Triangle, while Barings Real Estate invested in The Keel, a 240-flat development by Liverpool’s King’s Dock, as well as land adjacent to it.

Elsewhere in the residential market, as of 2019, there were 3,504 homes under construction, an additional 18,715 with planning approval and an extra 4,364 proposed or awaiting approval.

Hospitality haven
The latest Liverpool Hotel Update has reinforced that the city is still a hot spot for leisure and hospitality developments and investment. As of September 2019, £43.5m had been invested in hotels and serviced apartments, with four new hotels opening their doors and existing hotels extending their footprint. Ninety jobs were created, and 1.4 million rooms were sold over the first nine months of the year.

And 2020 looks to be even more buoyant. Before the turn of the year, Morgan Sindall began work on its £38m, 221-bed Novotel at Liverpool’s Paddington Village, while plans for three major hotel schemes – a 278-bed conversion of the Gostins building; a 274-bed property at Elliot Group’s Aura; and a 202-bed hotel fronting Norfolk Street in the Baltic Triangle – were given the go-ahead at planning.

Since then, Kier Property has submitted an application for a 280-bedroom, 13-storey hotel on Pall Mall as part of a £200m regeneration of the area, while Crossfield Exclusive Developments has submitted plans for a 167-bedroom Ibis hotel at Bramley-Moore Dock.

What next?
This is brilliant news for a city which prides itself on international culture, a booming student population and centuries of heritage. But changes are afoot within Building Regulations.

Amid claims from the government that the changes take them one step closer to achieving the Future Homes Standards, its announcement to review Part L of the Building Regulations may lead to the removal of the Fabric Energy Efficiency Standard – a benchmark introduced in 2013 that ensured building plans passed a certain performance level before approval was given for construction. Not having this in place could see future buildings perform to much lower standards.

Though Part L applies to all buildings, currently the government is only reviewing its application to dwellings. However, if implemented, this could be an indicator of how all buildings will be assessed as we venture forward. As such, cities like Liverpool – which are taking significant steps to ensure they set standards of sustainability – must opt to govern their building performance levels, continuing to work only with Approved Inspectors, developers, suppliers and service providers which are equally keen on using construction to impact the environment favourably.

About us
Ball & Berry’s experienced and agile team, which includes several ex-Heads of Local Authority Building Control, work across three UK offices, specialising in a variety of sectors, and managing projects of any scale and scope. Our primary objective is to become intrinsic to the key decision-making process and delivery objectives of every project we’re assigned to, helping our clients understand the crucial role building inspection plays in proficient delivery of their developments.

To find out more, contact Ball & Berry today.