Aparthotel destined for Rapid Hardware site

Planning permission has been granted for 114 serviced apartments at the former Rapid Hardware site in Liverpool’s Renshaw Street.

Knight Frank’s planning team secured the approval on behalf of developer YPG Developments, the third consent it has won for the developer.

The scheme has been designed by Day Architectural and includes commercial space at ground floor. Facilities for aparthotel users include a gym, cycle store, laundry room and reception.

The façade of the building will be retained, with a new block stepped back to five then seven storeys, set back from the frontage with a roof terrace in front.

Knight Frank senior planner Emily Roberts said: “We have been involved in the scheme from an early stage to find the best solution for the site which has an existing heritage building, is next to the Duke Street Conservation Area and sits in the World Heritage Site buffer zone.

“This scheme retains the character while at the same time creating a high quality aparthotel and new retail facilities at street level to invigorate this important part of the city centre.”

Ming Yeung, managing director of YPG, said: “The proposed use will not only further the economic development of the area by bringing an active use to a currently vacant site but will also enhance the living environment of the immediate and surrounding area.’

Kinght Frank also secured planning for YPG on a student apartment scheme at Devon Street and a development of townhouses and apartments on Hurst Street.

A use for the site has been sought since Rapid departed for the George Henry Lee building in 2009, with Grosvenor taking the site on initially. A scheme for 192 serviced apartments by Legacy Student Living was approved in 2014. YPG proposed a 160-apartment scheme in summer 2016 before revising its plans.

The approval follows consultation with both Liverpool City Council and Historic England.

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If YPG can preserve heritage here they could have easily done the same at Pembroke Place.

By Jane Jacobs

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