Garston Masterplan

Project date
  • Guidance
  • Masterplanning
North West England
Liverpool City Council
Associated team members
Associated documents

URBED were appointed by Liverpool City Council in January 2013 to develop a masterplan to guide future development in Garston, South Liverpool.

A fundamental aspect of the project was to understand why the high street - St Mary’s Road was experiencing decline and look into ways to turn this around. 

For this project we teamed up with market development and asset analysts Eye and transport planners and engineers Fore Consulting.

The project was directed by three consultation workshops with local people and a number of meetings with local land owners and stakeholders, (notes summarising feedback from these sessions can be downloaded above). The team also sparked a relationship between the Councils development team and the consultancy managing the largely redundant National Grid site, to work together in bringing the site forward for residential development.


The team produced a list of projects to aid regeneration based on five themes covering housing, employment, public realm, the high street and the towns identity and image. Major projects included:

- Safeguarding light industrial land uses to retain employment space;

- Concentrating port activity to open up port land for new housing;

- Creating a new park on Dinglebank - this was raised land owned by the council, which acted as a buffer to the port. The team also followed interest in publicising the site for the location of a potential Skate Park, which could be delivered as part of the Mayor of Liverpools initiatives. 

The teams recommendations for the high street was to entice small businesses in to occupy the units with lower rents. The Garston Space Agency idea was developed as a mechanism to facilitate this. The agency would be a team with a unit on the high street, who would market vacant properties and refurbish and maintain them to improve the attractiveness of the street.

Another problem faced by the high street was that the ‘anchor’ store which is a supermarket which attracts people to the high street, had recently closed down and so footfall had decreased having a negative impact on other shops on the high street. The team got in touch with other supermarket chains to analyse their interest in the site. It was decided that a better and more marketable site could be located further down the high street, so this was incorporated into the project list and another non-food retail use was pursued for the now vacant store.


An important aspect of the project was making sure projects could be delivered in a time of austerity.  An essential part of the project was to address sites for new housing development. Future contributions from Developers were then calculated to make sure proposed projects could be funded in the area.

The team also developed a list of alternative funding streams which did not put pressure on the local authority. These suggested sources such as Spacehive - where projects were advertised online to attarct investment from the public or from grants and lottery funding.

The Outputs

A masterplan and project list was developed alongside a graphical report which detailed our analysis and reccomendations for the area along with information from the consultation workshops.

The team also produced a Delivery Plan, a working document which was taken on by the council to update as tasks and delivery partners came forward on each project.

You can view the final masterplan report here. The Executive Summary can also be downloaded from the table above.

Outcomes to Date

One of the projects, to improve the public realm on St Mary’s road (through felixible measures such as planters and benches) has won match funding through a Sustrans project called Pocket Places

There has been Developer interest in in the sites identified for new housing. The council are currently working through the project list to prioritise and coordinate delivery of the recommendations in the area.