More than 240 new student bedrooms could be built on the site of a former roller rink in Liverpool city centre.
Proposals have been submitted to the local authority’s planning department for the construction of a new building on Mulberry Street on the site of a former car rental garage and Ritz Roller Rink, built in 1932. The currently vacant lot would be repurposed for a purpose-built student development, with existing buildings demolished to make way.
The plans, submitted by McLaren Property, would seek to deliver a series of studios and four, five and six bed clusters with associated private amenity space and support facilities.
The site is situated adjacent to several educational buildings belonging to the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University and the City of Liverpool College, known as the Knowledge Quarter.
According to documents submitted by CBRE on behalf of McLaren, no long-term parking would be provided alongside the new build, with designated areas earmarked for drop-off, pick-up and servicing. Cycle parking would be based on one bay per three bedrooms, totalling 81 spaces.
A design and access statement said the proposals would “repurpose a key underused site” while seeking to upgrade the public footway and opportunity to improve landscaping, pedestrian links, and strengthen the streetscape.
Regarding the existing site, the documents said the original roller rink closed during the 1960s and was subsequently occupied by the Rodley Youth Centre. The first floor is now used for storage in connection with a retail unit, Mulberrys, which occupies the majority of the ground floor space.
The upper floor is described as being in “a state of disrepair” having been left vacant for some time. The proposal’s application form said, subject to Liverpool Council approval, demolition work could begin in September and would be scheduled to last four months.
Construction on the new student build would seek to start before the end of the year and last 19 months until July 2025, with a view to welcoming new students in August and September of that year ahead of the new academic term beginning.
The design and access statement said: “The scheme as submitted is a high-quality proposition which positively addresses the requirement to provide activation to a prominent gateway site within the Canning Street conservation area. The proposed architecture of the scheme is modern but fully embedded and takes its reference from the Art Deco style.
“The public realm created by the scheme will provide a high-quality dwell space for residents and visitors. The proposed landscaping also provides biodiversity benefits whilst celebrating the two prominent mature trees on the Catharine Street frontage.”
A date for the proposals to be considered by Liverpool Council’s planning department has yet to be confirmed.
Main image: Mulberry Street plans. Credit: Cartwright Pickard