The building of more than 400 new flats will go ahead in Liverpool city centre despite concerns over a lack of affordable housing.
Proposals to develop two new multi-storey blocks on land around Pall Mall, Lanyork Road and Chiswick Street which is expected to deliver 435 new residential dwellings have been given the go-ahead by Liverpool Council planning committee.
The plans – which have been scaled down after an initial bid for 550 apartments was deemed too many – faced criticism from councillors over a lack of affordable options available.
The mixed-use scheme will also include a series of separate units including retail, commercial and office space.
The two blocks will range between six to 10 storeys on one site at Lanyork Street and Pall Mall, with a development between six and seven storeys further down with Chadwick Street at the north. The sites are separated by a parcel of land, currently used for surface parking.
Car parking will be provided both within buildings and externally adjacent at ground floor level, with 84 spaces within the first block and a further 41 at the second. At ground floor level areas soft landscaping comprising grass, shrub and tree planting are also proposed.
Quentin Keohane, director at Chester Falconer Hall who acted as the agent on behalf of applicant Nextdom Property, said the plans represented an “exciting” opportunity for the site and was a chance to bring a “undeveloped piece of land back to life” with a series of “high quality residential apartments.”
Given the development’s proximity to the Merseyrail Northern line, Network Rail were consulted on the plans. They had raised concerns around whether consideration had been given to the road tunnel running beneath the area.
The creation of more than 600 bedrooms within the project also raised queries from Sport England. The planning report put to committee members said the national body felt the proposal “would generate demand for sporting provision, which is not addressed in the current planning application.”
Regarding a lack of affordable housing, former Deputy Mayor, Cllr Jane Corbett, said she felt the applicant needed “more thought” on the plans and the possibility of incorporating a social housing element. Cllr Tricia O’Brien also argued that there would be “no social benefit” to the plans.
Despite this, the report said the proposal would “constitute a significant financial investment in the area, contributing to its vibrancy through the delivery of a mixed-use scheme in a highly accessible location.”
Cllr Joe Hanson, while raising issues around how section 106 payments would be arranged, said: “We have to do something in this area given the state of it and the dereliction.”
Members voted in favour of the plans.
Images: How the new flats could look. Credit: Nextdom Property