Ovatus 1 seeks to capture and reflect the 'beautiful light in the estuary'

A 27 storey residential tower overlooking Liverpool waterfront has been given the green light by city councillors.

Ovatus 1, costing £35 million, is the first of a two-phase development that will go quite some way to transforming the Mersey skyline, sitting on the northern gateway to the city centre at Leeds Street.

Read: A shower of towers for Liverpool waterfront

Dramatic as it looks in the CGIs here, it would be dwarfed by its proposed next door neighbour, Ovatus 2. That building, which is being billed as Liverpool’s tallest skyscraper by the same developers, Prospect Capital and Wilcocks & Wilcocks, would stand at 48 storeys. Although a formal planning application has yet to be lodged, it would sit on the site of the current landmark “Mirror Building” which was built by the Moores family in the 1980s as part of its Littlewoods/Shop Direct operation.

Both schemes sit within the the buffer zone boundary of Liverpool’s World Heritage Site.

Craig Blackwell, of Prospect Capital, said: “We are very pleased with today’s planning news and that this great city is standing behind us and promoting us for this exciting new residential development.” 

Nick Fillingham, of Indigo Planning, added: “Ovatus 1 represents a major opportunity for Liverpool’s residential offering. The green light for this development will ensure high-quality residential stock can be provided to meet current high-demand.”

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The ultimate aim: Ovatus 1, left, at 27 storeys, would be dwarfed by Ovatus 2 which, at 48 storeys would be the tallest skyscraper in Liverpool

According to the developers, who also bought the 8 Water Street office block last year for an apartments conversion, work will commence on the Ovatus 1 site “as early as September this year”.

They say they have assembled a team of nationally-recognised consultants to advise on the project. The hodder+partners-designed, residential tower will cover 144,000 square feet with amenities and public space incorporated.

Ovatus 1 will comprise 168 residential units, including 14 3-bed apartments, 88 2-bed apartments, 22 1-bed apartments and 44 studio flats.

There will also be 187 cycle storage spaces provided, as well as public realm improvements, including hard and soft landscaping.

Architect Stephen Hodder said the building's height and form seeks to capture and reflect the “beautiful light in the estuary”.