The building could be put at risk if plans are not approved, according to planning officers. Credit: Google Earth

JSM’s Liverpool hotel up for approval

The former NatWest building at 20-34 Castle Street would be converted into a 92-room hotel with a double-storey roof extension if the council signs off the plans next week.

Developer JSM Company Group, headed up by Jamie Motlagh, aims to bring back into use the vacant grade two-listed Liverpool city centre property, which NatWest vacated in 2017 when it relocated to a new branch on Church Street.

Under the plans, vacant office space across part of the ground floor and all of the upper floors and basement of 20-26 Castle Street, together with the upper floors of 32-24 Castle Street, would be converted into a 33,000 sq ft hotel with 92 bedrooms.

The proposals are recommended for approval by Liverpool City Council on 13 September, subject to a section 106 agreement.

The hotel would be accessed from Castle Street through the building’s main entrance or a new entrance door within 20-26 Castle Street, according to the plans. There would be a ground-floor reception area with a lift from the basement to the fourth floor, and a staircase connecting to the fifth floor.

In addition, a double-storey roof extension would be created across the two blocks, facing Lower Castle Street and accommodating nine of the hotel rooms.

JSM is seeking full planning consent and listed building consent for the conversion. It acquired the property in January 2021.

“The proposed scheme would bring the long-time vacant upper floors of two substantial listed buildings back into active use with the provision of highly accessible visitor accommodation within a highly sustainable city centre location,” Liverpool City Council said in documents published ahead of next week’s meeting.

It added: “In doing so, the proposal would…help preserve a grade two*-listed building and a grade two-listed building, which may struggle to attract further interest given their large scale, heritage constraints, high market value and current general lack of interest for office spaces.

“Therefore, if planning permission is refused, the application buildings may potentially continue to be vacant for the foreseeable future, putting their preservation at risk.”

The proposed internal and external alterations “are sympathetic” to the listed buildings and to the Castle Street Conservation Area, causing “no detrimental impact” on the local area, the council added.

“We applied for planning last August so nearly 13 months later we’re at the stage of committee and are confident we have satisfied all of [the council’s] requirements and answered any queries and concerns they’ve had along the way,” JSM’s property manager Matt Crebin told Place North West. 

“We have had to amend plans where required and complete the relevant surveys and assessments in order to get this to the finishing line.

“This is one of a number of developments the JSM Group have ongoing in Liverpool and as a local company, we intend to keep on injecting new life into the buildings and surroundings of our much-loved city.”

Architect Wroot Design has drawn up the plans on JSM and has been contacted for comment. JSM’s founder Motlagh also runs Pub Invest Group, which operates Liverpool bars including McCooleys and Rubber Soul.

To view the plans for this project, search for planning applications 21L/3643 and  21F/2507 on Liverpool City Council’s planning portal.

Castle Street Liverpool JSM plans p via planning documents

Drawings from Wroot Design feature a roof extension to the rear. Credit: via planning documents

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Hope this is more Barcelona than Blackpool – Liverpool really could go either way.

By Blarcelona

Fine building , and on a street ideal for quality hotels.

By Anonymous

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