Without going to the Planning Committe the application to move the Canal Link was accepted - The latest planning application submitted by British Waterways has now been accepted. The application didn't even reach the planning committee. Planner John Woodward took the decision. Given the level of interest in the way Liverpool docks are to be developed this is an astonishing decision.

Government level objections are being sought.

Land by Stealth Strategy -
The Canal Link from Salisbury Dock to Canning Dock. British Waterways are at it again.

World Heritage Status agreement with UNESCO violated - The in-filling of historic docks violates the World Heritage Status agreement with UNESCO.

Liverpool's Heritage and History being destroyed - Historic Central Docks are rendered a glorified narrowboat canal by reducing the depths. This prevents, after centuries, deep water vessels from berthing at the city centre.

Liverpool's future dissolving - The foundation of The City On The Water we were promised, living around the water spaces, is being destroyed.

Fast Buck Merchants Prey on City - These proposals are merely to make big fast money for the developer, of which most are not based in the city, caring nothing of Liverpool's, and the world's, history and heritage.

The Canal Link &
In-filling of Princes Half Tide and West Waterloo Docks 

Below: West Waterloo Dock. This area of the dock estate is of historic importance being where the American packet ships berthed transporting millions of people to the New World. More people left Liverpool for the New World than any other European port. This historical point was recognied by the United Nations, who made much of this part of the dock estate a World Heritage site.

The developers wanted to fill in this historic deep water dock to a very narrow narrowboat canal, generating lucrative riverfront land. This application was rejected on the 10th October 2006. The unique historic warehouses can be seen behind the apartments.

British Waterways has applied to re-direct the proposed canal link through the partially in-filled Trafalgar Dock and the partially in-filled section of West Waterloo Dock.  This is a clear Land by Stealth Strategy.

           Photo courtesy of Dave Wood at Liverpool Pictorial

West Waterloo Dock

August 2006: Resubmitted Planning Application of 06F/2292 Backfill of West Waterloo Dock which replaced the withdrawn application of 06F/1421. This new application is almost identical to the previous application of 06F/1421.

Planning Committe rejected proposals to fill in West Waterloo Dock on 10th October 2006. An Appeal may be submitted by British Waterways. If so, then the merry-go-round starts all over again. The West Waterloo dock is within the World Hertitage Site Buffer Zone

Waterloo Docks Historic - Important to World History

The original Waterloo Dock was built by French prisoners of war. The Waterloo docks were the berths of the American packet ships. Hundreds of thousands left these quays to populate the new world. These docks are of world importance. Liverpool has to maintain these docks for the benefit of the world - Liverpool is only the custodian, as is Eygpt with the pyramids and Britain with Stonehenge. To convert the docks to only narrowboat canal usage is insulting to world history - historic ships should be berthed in these docks. Below is an engraving of emigrants embarking to the new world at Waterloo Dock. Many millions of Americans and Candians will have had their ancestors leave these quays for a new life.

Below: East Waterloo Dock before two of the warehouses were demolished.

Liverpool's Heritage Being Violated

Below: The destruction of a World Heritage Site at historic Central Docks continues unabated. The vast space created by the in-filling of Victoria, Clarence and Trafalgar docks can clearly be seen. The infilled Trafalgar Dock, with the mounds of earth and sand on, is a waste processing area, which may be used until 2010. The proposal to fill in West Waterloo Dock, the water space seen, was rejected after mass protest. This would have removed a huge mass of historic dock, to create a narrow canal for inland narrowboats. Princes Half Tide Dock is in the foreground being in-filled. Behind West Waterloo Dock up to the the Victoria Tower in the distance. Trafalgar Dock has been partially filled in. Yes, this is supposed to be a protected  World Heritage Site. The contempt shown to these docks is obvious. Official vandalism. The developers want Trafalgar and West Waterloo Docks filled in creating one large peice of lucrative land.

Below: Trafalgar Dock, the continuation of West Waterloo Dock, in the 1980s just after the cranes were removed. The transit sheds to the left are on the river wall - the land between the river and the docks. Trafalgar Dock and West Waterloo Dock were one body of water. This partially filled dock can easily be excavated.and restored. Currently the space is being used as an open waste storage and processing  area.

Photo courtesy of Nancy Ostrander

Poor Justification for Dock Infill by Developers

British Waterways the developers, planning proposal attempts to justify filling in West Waterloo Dock by mentioning in a negative manner that the river wall is too narrow to build on. The river wall is the strip of land between the dock and river. The river wall held warehouses, cranes and a rail track at one time. The river locks on the West Waterloo Dock river wall have been filled in creating a wide body of land suitable for building. At one point the river wall is narrow. A small amount of dock in-filling, of 3 metres or so, may be in order to thicken the wall at this point.

Using just a minuscule of imagination would lead them to Hamburg, where modern attractive buildings that overhang the docks maximising water views and feel are constructed. These buildings only require a small land footprint with the upper floors larger than the ground floor.

Below: Small footprint overhanging dockside buildings at Hamburg under construction.

Any buildings constructed on the river wall would have open aspects to the West Waterloo Dock on one side and the river on the other. It is clear the developer cannot see the potential - or maybe they do not want to, as the vast profit of land generation is prime in their minds.

Infilled Docks Destined For Leisure Purposes

So, open land generated by Dock filling, directly on the riverfront is to be used for leisure according to the developers. Most probably a large shed which is lifeless after 6:00 pm. A bowling alley? A kiddies activity world? Whatever it is it will not do justice to the history and heritage of Waterloo Docks.  It could be a sad end to a historic maritime era.

Objection to Re-Directing the Proposed Canal

Make an objection by letter or email ASAP to the re-direction of the proposed canal link through Trafalgar and West Waterloo Docks.

Proposal Number:

Jon Woodward
Planning Department
Liverpool City Council
Municiple Buildings
Dale Street
L69 2DH

Email for objection:

Some points for objection. I'm sure you can think of more:

1. Yet again, this is a clear land by stealth underhanded 11th hour approach with the developer attempting to line up dominoes for future dock in-filling or building on partially filled in docks. This move is against the original spirit of the initial application, of which had overwhelming support. This in future, would entail yet more elimination of historic Liverpool water spaces. Moving the canal does not add any value at all to the route the original planning permission was given. It does the reverse.

2. Narrow boats would be sailing through West Waterloo Dock right next to the current road, i.e. along the dock quay wall. This Posses potential noise problems as there are no restrictions on the times that boats will be allowed to come through within the planning application. Right now there is no provision not to allow boats to moor along the dock quays.

3. Narrow boat passengers would easily have access to the West Waterloo development via the steps at the south end of the dock, which creates a security risk.

4. The current plans mean that the in filled part of West Waterloo Dock will remain and will most likely be built upon at some point in the future as there is provision within the plans for a bridge to be built on to this “land” over the proposed canal.

5. Trafalgar Dock, which has partially been in filled and adjoins West Waterloo Quay, would be left in-filled, instead of rightly being excavated to re-instate this historic water space, with the potential for future needless development on historic waters, except for a narrow channel for the canal.

6. People residing on the lower floors of West Waterloo Dock will not enjoy the sight of the canal boats, as they will see them behind the dock quay.

7. The Bigger Picture? Why do Peel Holdings and British Waterways want the canal to pass through right next to the West Waterloo development? Is it to maximise the amount of potential new land gained by infilling West Waterloo Dock at some point in the future? A desire, which was clearly expressed in the last application, the in-filling of West Waterloo Dock, which was thankfully rejected.

The Plans may be viewed at Millennium House, Victoria Street, Liverpool.

The Canal Link & Trafalgar Dock

The Proposed canal link runs from the small existing section of Trafalgar Dock next to Salisbury Dock, through a section cut into the centre of the "temporary" partially in-filled Trafalgar Dock, through the open West Waterloo Dock, Princes Half-Tide Dock, Princes Dock and through a new canal cut in front of the Three Graces and into Canning Dock. It is to join the North End Docks to the South End Docks, allowing shallow draft craft access.

Foolishly, Liverpool City Council granted planning permission for the "back filling" of Princes Half Tide Dock, ref: 05F/2104.  The dock is a part of Liverpool's World Heritage Site. The planning application was worded as though is was required for the new narrowboat canalway from Salisbury Dock through to Canning Dock linking the north and south docks. British Waterways state that vessels sailing through Princes Half Tide Dock would not necessarily require a two meter depth, which is the depth of Princes Dock. The World Heritage Site, Princes Half Tide Dock, is being used as a dumping pit for waste materials from the current Grosvenor retail project in the city centre.

This is the equivalent to dumping of waste materials in and around the Pyramids of Egypt or the Great Wall of China. Would UNESCO approve of that?

Deep Water Docks Reduced to an Inland Canal

Three docks, Princes, Princes Half-Tide and West Waterloo have been reduced to inland canal boat depths. This depth reduction was purely a money making move charging contractors to dump waste building materials into the historic deep water docks - a lucrative business. 

So, Liverpool loses a part of its deep water capability near the city centre because a developer wanted to make fast bucks filling in the docks to canal boat depths.  How naive of the city to allow such a thing.

Deep Water Vessels Cannot Berth Near the City Centre

Liverpool is one of the few cities in the world that deep water vessels can berth in the city centre. The madness of reducing the Central Docks to inland narrowboat depths precludes visiting ships berthing at Princes and Princes Half-Tide docks. When the Tall Sailing Ships visit Liverpool many have to berth at Birkenhead. The historic ship collection at Birkenhead could have been accommodated at Princes and Princes half-Tide Docks, as they are losing their home at the East Float.

The Manxman Steamship Co, is discussing where the SS Manxman can be permanently berthed if she is saved.  Their preference was the Princes Dock's old Belfast steamship berth adjacent to the Crowne Plaza Hotel. This is now not an option. If deep water can be reinstated in Princes Dock, Princes half-Tide Dock and the Waterloo docks then it opens up options.  

The historic Battle of the Atlantic U-Boat hunter HMS Wimbrel requires a permanent berth at Liverpool. HMS Wimbrel is currently with the Egyptian navy and to be handed back to Britain when fully restored to world war two specification. The last survivor of the Battle of the Atlantic. Visiting Royal Navy and foreign naval vessels also require high profile berths, instead of the embarrassing berths amongst the giant mounds of scrap metal at the far North End commercially active docks. 

Below: HMS Wimbrel in Alexandria under renovation.
Below: SS Manxman, the Isle of Man ferrry.

British Waterways attempted to have West Waterloo Dock filled in and re-direct the proposed canal to one side of the currently temporary in-filled Trafalgar Dock and an in-filled West Waterloo Dock, instead of through the centre of Trafalgar Dock.

The historic ship collection, including a World War Two U-Boat, at Birkenhead Docks is to be moved for development work. Liverpool cannot find berths for these ships because the docks near the city centre: Princes, Princes Half-Tide and West Waterloo Docks have been reduced to canal boat depths. The reduction in depth was that the deep water docks were used as a lucrative dump by developers. HMS Plymouth is wanted by the City of Plymouth and a German businessman is looking into taking the U-Boat back to Germany. It is embarrassing when a large port with half the docks redundant cannot find berths for a handful of historic ships. Ships that would add value to the maritime heritage of Liverpool.

A fully excavated Trafalgar Dock, with West Waterloo, Princes and Princes Half-Tide Docks restored to deep water depths, will enable deep water ships to enter the whole of Central Docks from the commercial North End docks. Ships then can berth right in the city centre.

Trafalgar Dock Being Used as a Waste Processing Area

The supposed temporary infilled Trafalgar Dock, which the canal link is to run through, is being used as a waste processing area, to great health risks to the local population. A three year extension for the waste process activities has been applied for, which mean it will run until 2010. The city disparately needs Trafalgar Dock excavated back to a deep water dock to accommodate historic and visiting ships,.and the area developed to project the city forwards. Please protest as soon as possible to:

Proposal Number:

Peter Jones
Planning Department
Liverpool City Council
Municiple Buildings
Dale Street
L69 2DH

Email for objection:

Excavating Manchester Dock & Chester Basin?

The Canal Link actually runs through the in-filled Chester Basin and Manchester Dock, north of the Canning Graving Docks. The basin and dock are still there underground complete with granite quays. Common sense would dictate fully excavating the basin and if possible the adjacent Manchester Dock too, which had a river lock. The location of the lock position is visible from the river wall at the Canning Dock.
Archaeologists are to dig out much of the dock and basin. Leaving the water spaces uncovered and refilled with water would be the most appropriate action. These docks are over 220 years old. The canal could run right through Chester Basin giving berths for canal boats and adding to the charm of the Pier Head. 

Any sensible developer would want to reinstate these small historic water spaces, as they would add value to their projects and gain public acceptability.

Below: Manchester Dock and Chester Basin are to the south west of the Dock Board Office.

British Waterways Are At It Again - Land By Stealth

Application Number 06F/2292 Backfill of West Waterloo Dock was rejected on the 10th October 2006, after widespead protest. British Waterways have now submitted application number 06F/3125 to move the proposed canal to one side of the temporary partially in-filled Trafalgar Dock.  

This is seen as British Waterways, backed by Peel Holdings, stacking up dominoes to keep Trafalgar Dock permanently in-filled to gain lucrative land and eventually have West Waterloo Dock filled too. 

British Waterways have made the planning application, however it is clear that MDHC/Peel Holdings are pulling the strings of this application. It disguises the canal links true purpose, which is a land by stealth strategy.

Canal Link Redirection Application Accepted Without Going to the Planning Committee

Astonishingly this application submitted by British Waterways has now been accepted by the Planning Department. It didn't even go to the Planning Committee. Planner John Woodward took the decision. This is astounding given the level of interest in the way the docks are to be developed. Be prepared for applications to in-fill dock water spaces as the city assists in lining up the dominoes for the developers.  

Government level objections are being sought.

Below: West Waterloo Dock is to the left. Above is the partially in-filled Trafalgar Dock which originally led through to Salisbury Dock near the Victoria Tower. The north end of West Waterloo Dock is partially filled in. The proposed canal is to run through the middle of the partially infilled Trafalgar Dock opening into the West Waterloo Dock.

British Waterways want to re-direct the canal along the east side of the partially in-filled Trafalgar Dock and in-filled small section of West Waterloo Dock. It is clear that Land by Stealth is at the core of this application.

Photo courtesy of Dave Wood at Liverpool Pictorial

Feel of Docks Being Altered

The wisdom of altering the feel of the docks to primarily accommodate inland canal narrowboats, which were not predominant at deep water Liverpool Docks, is quite bizarre not maintaining continuity of the historic past. Liverpool is, and always was, a deep water port. Visiting ships cannot enter the docks as they do at Albert, Canning and Salthouse Docks in the South End. A sad end to hundreds of years of deep water ship movements - reduced to a narrowboat canal. 

Below: The depressing picture of in-filling at Princes Half Tide Dock. 
The rape of Liverpool's history and heritage continues

Below, the desolate picture of dock in-filling at Princes Half Tide Dock. All the essential marine life is killed. The original lock gates can be seen in the background. The fill materials is mixed, as the colours show, and is scattered with wood.

The rape of Liverpool's history and heritage continues
Photo courtesy of Tony O'Leary

Moves to Enlarge the World Heritage Site

Moves to Prevent Shark Development Proposals

Moves by Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, whose ward covers much of the docks World Heritage Site, and the Waterloo Quay Tenants Association are in motion to extend the World Heritage Site around Central Docks. This move is to prevent outrageous proposals to in-fill docks by developers who see fast money on generating land and implement large commercial or leisure complexes. Excavation of Trafalgar Dock is also one of the aims.

UNESCO Criticised No Plan for the Dock Water Spaces

As no overall plan has been set for the dock water spaces, a problem criticised by UNESCO, continuous outrageous heritage stripping proposals will continue to be submitted and each time people form to oppose.  Encompassing as much as possible into the World Heritage Zone will alleviate this highly irritating reoccuring problem.

UNESCO Agreement

Liverpool World Heritage Site Agreement Link