Major city centre flats plan rebuked by councillors

A plan for a major tower containing hundreds of new flats in Liverpool city centre could be scrapped after elected officials raised concerns. 

Proposals have been put forward by Carpenter Investments for a building up to 13 storeys tall to house 261 apartments on land at King’s Dock Street. The application site, measuring approximately 2.6 hectares, is made up of a former surface car parking area which had been unused for a number of years but has recently been used for building material storage.

Despite being recommended for approval by Liverpool Council planning officers, councillors moved an alternative motion at a planning committee meeting today, indicating they could ultimately reject the scheme at a second hearing.

The application site lies on the eastern edge of the Baltic Triangle and is said to have a “neglected appearance.” The plan would see 13 storeys created, with housing on all but one level.

A commercial development would also be included. Agent for the development Colin Williams told a meeting of the city council’s planning committee how the building would represent the “first stage of a long-term vision” for the area and contribute to a “major regeneration of Wapping Goods Yard.”

Peter Jones, team leader for the city centre planning team, said the development had originally been designed as a 16-storey tower but concerns were raised about impacts on the skyline and potentially blocking views of the Anglican Cathedral. However, despite testimony from officers and the applicant, concerns were raised about the new design, drainage and use of development cash.

Cllr Joe Hanson said, “It looks like a multi-storey car park that doesn’t know what to do with itself. The design is absolutely awful.”

As a result of concerns raised, councillors backed an alternative motion indicating they would be minded to reject the plans. It will go before the committee again for a second time when a final decision will be made.

The committee did however sign off on a development of a new hazardous area ambulance response site on a former NHS plot in Tuebrook. Having initially gone up for sale in 2021 after the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) moved out to a new location in Speke, the former Elm House location on Belmont Grove will now be repurposed to house a new station and training facility.

Lee Armstrong, on behalf of NWAS, said the site was a “vital piece of health infrastructure” which was “urgently needed” amid the closure of Croxteth Fire Station ahead of the opening of a new station in Aintree.

Image: How the proposed tower could look. Credit: Carpenter Investments

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