Liverpool's docklands are set to be given a new lease of life after plans for a major regeneration project were given the green light.

The coalition government has approved Peel Group's £5.5 billion Liverpool Waters scheme which will redevelop six hectares of land on the banks of the River Mersey. Communities secretary Eric Pickles stated that there will be no need for a public enquiry into the proposals and it signals the end of six years of hard work carried out by the organisation to bring these plans to fruition.

Liverpool Waters, formerly known as Central Docks, has been left derelict for a number of years and now Peel is looking to build various skyscrapers to the water's edge. Officials have said that there will be a host of high-rise buildings, housing, offices, retail outlets as well as 14,000 apartments. One of the focal points to the plans is the 55-storey Shanghai Tower which, once completed, will be the tallest building in the UK outside of London, dwarfing Beetham Tower in Manchester.

The entire development is designed to make Liverpool become the country's second city behind the capital. Since the dock is no longer used for mooring ships, due to the increasing size of container and commercial vessels, Peel believes that this move is ideal for rejuvenating the once bustling area.

Lindsey Ashworth, development director at Peel, said: "The weight of our argument has succeeded in overcoming significant objections from both English Heritage and the World Heritage Body UNESCO. Peel is proud to have worked in close partnership with the City of Liverpool – we believe it represents an exciting future for both."

Liverpool is currently awash with construction plans with Liverpool FC in the midst of planning an expansion of their Anfield home to increase capacity to 60,000. Housing is also a major focus with the city council making vacant homes in the Kensington, Granby and Picton areas available to developers for just £1 in a bid to rejuvenate deprived parts of the region.

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