Inspector dismisses Lawless’s Liverpool appeal
The developer’s bid to overturn the refusal of a 186-home scheme at the former Liverpool Community Probation Centre has been unsuccessful, scuppering a deal to sell the site.
Legacie Developments had been lined up to acquire the plot from Elliot Lawless’s Falkner Street Developments, subject to planning approval.
However, Legacie told Place North West it has now “withdrawn its interest in the site” following the appeal decision.
Lawless was contacted for comment.
Liverpool City Council’s planning committee rejected the Falkner Street application – which featured plans for 105 apartments and 63 student homes – 12 months ago due to concerns about parking provision.
Lawless appealed the decision, saying at the time he had been advised that he had “a very strong case”.
However, the issues around parking proved too much to overcome.
Richard Morgan, the planning inspector presiding over the case, agreed with the local authority, saying the lack of parking provided on-site is “likely to result in pressure for illegal and inconsiderate parking nearby, which could cause risks to the safety of other road users”.
In summing up, Morgan said, “the benefits of the scheme are not sufficient to outweigh the inadequacies of the parking and access arrangements”.
The inspector said he appreciated the decision would be “disappointing for the appellant, particularly given the protracted length of time involved in the determination of this proposal”.
The Falkner Street project was designed by Falconer Chester Hall Architects and had been approved by Liverpool City Council in December 2019 subject to the signing of a section 106 agreement.
Changes to the city’s local plan during the time in between led to subsequent adjustments to the project, which necessitated the review of the scheme by the committee.
The scheme returned to committee with a recommendation to approve by the city council’s planning officers.
Councillors, however, voiced displeasure in a heated discussion over whether student accommodation was needed in the area and the impacts the project would have on traffic.
Protesters were also at the committee, allegedly with signs that denounced Lawless.
Lawless was arrested by Merseyside Police during Operation Aloft, an ongoing investigation into corruption related to land deals within Liverpool City Council. He denies wrongdoing and, like everyone else arrested as part of the probe, has never been charged.