A recent study has shown that Liverpool Waters, Peel L&P’s transformation of 60 hectares of reclaimed and former dockland along the River Mersey, could create an estimated £1.3 billion of public benefits over the next 50 years, by providing additional green space that will provide a variety of benefits, including improving air quality and storing carbon.
A new two-hectare public park along the Leeds-Liverpool canal link will create green amenities at Central Docks, one of Liverpool Waters’ five neighbourhoods, and bring significant physical health and wellbeing value to the city region worth an estimated £34.4m annually.
An independent assessment of the development’s natural capital (the stock of natural resources like soil, air, water and all living things) found that the overall masterplan for Liverpool Waters will capture five extra tonnes of carbon each year as a result of new trees, shrubs and gardens.
These new green provisions will also improve air quality through the regulation of air pollutants (PM2.5) by 0.03 tonnes each year and help Liverpool City Region (LCR) to meet its goal of becoming zero-carbon by 2040.
The improvements will also create new wildlife habitats in the formerly despoiled docklands.
Further evidence shows that Liverpool Waters will also deliver a natural capital net gain – put more back in than is taken out – for people and the environment through additional improvements to water quality, access to nature and sustainable timber production.
The study was carried out by Natural Capital Solutions using a 2006 pre-construction phase as a baseline and the full report is available to view under downloads at https://peellandp.co.uk/responsibility
Jo Holden, Peel L&P’s Sustainability Director said: “This assessment demonstrates that our plans for Liverpool Waters will provide vast health and wellbeing benefits to local people for many years through new publicly accessible green spaces including a two-hectare park, new street trees and planting to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality.
“Natural capital and ecosystems are central to the Government’s 25-year Environment Plan and it’s important that we assess our own developments in this way to understand the full value they bring in helping the city region to address the climate and biodiversity emergencies and achieve its zero-carbon ambition.
“These results build on wider sustainability work we’re doing at Liverpool Waters such as creating our portfolio of Net Zero Carbon buildings at Princes Dock and making the area better for walking and cycling. We hope to create a well-used green space on the waterfront, right next to the city region’s unique blue asset, the River Mersey.”
Gideon Ben-Tovim, Chair of Liverpool City Region’s new Climate Partnership and Nature Connected, LCR’s Local Nature Partnership, said:
“Liverpool City Region has made great progress in connecting local people with nature, especially through LCR’s Year of Environment in 2019 and completing a natural capital baseline for the whole region. It is commendable to see Peel L&P taking this a step further by measuring the hidden benefits of natural capital to people and the environment at Liverpool Waters so that we can see the value of new developments incorporating more green space to benefit local communities.”
Liverpool Waters is a 30-year project that will see development across five neighbourhoods to offer 2,000,000 sq. m of floorspace including 9,000 homes, 315,000 sq. m. of business space and 53,000 sq. m. of hotel and conference facilities. The waterfront project will also be the home to a new cruise liner terminal and hotel as well as a new Isle of Man ferry terminal which is currently under construction as well as the proposed location of the new Everton FC stadium.
Peel L&P is the first property company to achieve Net Zero Carbon status using the UK Green Building Council’s 2019 definition for buildings in the UK. A total of 17 of Peel L&P’s buildings have now achieved this status.
In 2019, Peel L&P launched its first five-year sustainability plan which supports the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (UN SDGs) to help create a fair and sustainable planet by 2030.
Read more about Peel L&P’s sustainability work at www.peellandp.co.uk/responsibility
 This figure is an estimate that is subject to a number of caveats that are outlined in the report, including a sensitivity analyses that shows considerable variation highlighting the challenges involved in placing a monetary value on some services. Nevertheless, it does demonstrate that the Liverpool Waters development will deliver a substantial natural capital net benefit. Also note that this overall value does not include all the services that the Liverpool Waters site may provide.