Mayor of Liverpool to introduce police checks for developers

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson is set to introduce a scheme whereby developers and landowners can voluntarily undertake police checks when they submit plans to the city’s planning authority.

The scheme will start in the autumn with Merseyside Police carrying out the checks.

Liverpool has been successful in attracting developments to the city, with over 180 live schemes worth more than £3bn currently on site, but Liverpool City Council is now looking at additional ways to protect investors.

The mayor of Liverpool said that it wanted people to have confidence that the schemes taking place in the city were going to be delivered.

“We already work very hard with any developer or investor who comes to the city and wants to talk to us. 

“As a result, Liverpool is very much ‘open for business’ creating jobs, new homes and opportunities for people.

“However, most private sector schemes have absolutely no involvement from the council, except to grant planning permission. 

“So, we want to ask developers to put themselves forward voluntarily for a police check in order to give both their investors, and the city, confidence in the strength of their scheme.”

He continued by saying that the fact this scheme would be voluntary reflected the weakness of government policy in this area.

“Government legislation very tightly controls what our planning system can and cannot do and practically reduces the council to a bystander with very little ability to shape and control our city,” added the mayor. 

“In some situations, one bad apple – like we have seen recently – can give the wrong impression about our city, against the other 99% of successful projects.

“I think this is a good way of collecting more information about developers behind schemes so that their investors can make a more informed choice.  

“I also think this will attract good developers to Liverpool because they know we are a council which is willing to work with them and takes seriously our responsibility to grow and enhance the city.”

Andy Cooke, chief constable of Merseyside Police, added: “Merseyside Police [has] been working with all councils within Merseyside in order to assist planning applications to ensure that buildings can go ahead and that our communities are free from crime.”

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