Liverpool

Liverpool Chinatown: Council want £200m plan 'back on track'

Plans Image copyright North Point Global
Image caption The plans include apartments, town houses and commercial space

Liverpool City Council is considering using a compulsory purchase order to get a failing £200m regeneration scheme "back on track".

A council spokesman said the powers could be enacted if a new developer for the New Chinatown scheme, which was to create 790 homes, cannot be found.

Chinatown Development Company Ltd's scheme stalled when the sales agent was accused of fraud in Hong Kong, he said.

The developer has been contacted by the BBC for comment.

A report to the council's cabinet requests compulsory purchase order (CPO) powers for the site which was bought from developers Urban Splash and the city council in 2015 by Chinatown Development Company Ltd, which was called Tribeca at the time.

Image copyright North Point Global
Image caption The derelict site lies close to Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral

The New Chinatown scheme aimed to build on a derelict site at Great George Street, near the Anglican Cathedral.

The city council said the plan stalled once a sales agent for the company was "accused of fraud on the Hong Kong market" with a massive impact on sales causing the building contractor to go into administration.

The council is being asked to approve a plan for the site to be independently marketed over the summer for a new developer to deliver the current scheme, which has planning consent, or an amended scheme.


Claire Hamilton - BBC Merseyside political reporter

This was the development designed to put the sparkle back into Europe's oldest established Chinese community.

The hoardings around the site feature futuristic, and slightly menacing, Chinese dragons and promise glamorous urban living.

But there's been constant speculation about the progress of the development, and disappointment from many people who say this prime location is currently an eyesore.

There's also been concern that the housing being proposed will be snapped up by overseas investors rather than offering affordable housing - or even social housing for local people.

The development was launched in a blaze of publicity, with much being made of the strong business links between China and Liverpool. The fact that it's stalling is problematic for everyone involved.


Deputy Mayor of Liverpool Ann O'Byrne said the city council was "deeply concerned with how events have unravelled with the funding of Chinatown Development Company Ltd's scheme".

She added: "It is vital that a new developer is found to get this scheme - or an amended one - back on track for the good of the Chinatown area, the city and those who have invested in it."

The original scheme was launched with hopes to revive an area which had been "derelict for far too long".

The use of a compulsory purchase order (CPO) will be considered by the council's cabinet on 21 July.

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