Centric House Cert p.Cert

Cert bought the building in 2018. Credit: via Cert Property

Liverpool rejects CERT’s office-to-resi

The city council’s planning committee was concerned about a lack of affordable homes within the 45-home scheme and rejected it against officer recommendations.

CERT Property’s proposed conversion of Centric House on Moorfields has hit a bump in the road.

The developer submitted a planning application to Liverpool City Council in late 2022 seeking permission to convert the vacant office into a mix of one- and two-bedroom properties.

Designed by Falconer Chester Hall, the scheme would see all four floors of the building redeveloped.

Since CERT acquired Centric House for £3.3m in 2018, the building has never achieved higher than 15% occupancy, according to a planning statement by Enabl, prompting the developer to seek a change of use.

The planning committee was not satisfied with the scheme’s affordable homes provision. CERT’s proposals do not feature any discounted homes due to viability constraints.

Liverpool’s planning team had accepted the viability argument and recommended the scheme for approval but the committee was not convinced; it voted five to four to reject the project.

The scheme will go before the committee again at a later date.

Meanwhile, Torus’s 93-home redevelopment of the former Liver Grease Oil & Chemicals Company site was withdrawn from the agenda and will return for determination next month.

Torus’ plans can be viewed on Liverpool’s planning portal with the reference 23F/1952, while CERT’s proposal is at 22F/3516.

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It doesn’t matter who wins the general election because our council have no idea how to grow a so called major city. Manchester will continue to go from strength to strength under Labour while Liverpool will stagnate.

By Tommy

Vote Labour

By Anonymous

Perhaps it would be better to strip this back and upgrade to A grade office space and incorporate the Yates`s site and surface carpark to turn Moorfields in to a modern office hub with some new build apartments

By GetItBuilt!

Vote Reform…if you actually want reform, and judging from the present incumbent performance at both city level and nationally why wouldn’t you?

By Anonymous

Yet another example of the ineptitude of LCC , i feel so let down having to witness decisions like this made by grossly incompetent planning committees that adversely affect our city and its future . It should be taken away from unqualified councillors who have been voted in by a tiny proportion of the local population yet are given the opportunity to force opinionated ill informed views on important matters. Soul destroying .

By Paul M - Woolton

Honestly, some people on here are going to be moan about any rejection of anything. What price local democracy. Or shall we not have a planning system and a market free for all instead.

By Anonymous

Good, these cheap and nasty office to home conversions are the slums of the future. But the council also need to come up with a master plan for the Moor fields area. It should be a thriving commercial area with businesses queueing up to locate there.

By Gary Kilroy

Planning rejections will go on and on. Investment and growth will continue to be turned away in the name of affordable housing in prime city centre sites. This council hasn’t changed, laying the foundations once again to be classed as inadequate. It is a shame we do not have a council with the same sense and vision as that in Manchester. Now the government inspectors have left them off the lead they are up to their old tricks again. This decision strongly suggests they are going to continue to hinder prosperity for the citizens of this city. If they want affordable housing, may I suggest redeveloping derelict and empty inner city housing stock and cleaning the filth off the streets while they are at it.

By Stephen Davis.

Grim part of town. Conversion to resi isn’t the answer. Demolish and build new grade A offices and upgrade public realm and entrance to Moorfields.

By Roy

Groundhog Day.

By Stephen Hart

Correct decision although maybe for the wrong reasons. Moorefields should be a commercial area not a residential one.

By Anonymous

I applaud LCC for making the correct decision.

By Bixteth boy

This decision just beggars believe. These people are happy to reject a proposal to transform a mostly empty property into a City Centre place of abode. Losing out on council tax revenue, not to mention the positive effect it could have on local businesses. It really is frustrating to continue to see this blind ally approach when it comes down to planning approval. They all need to be replaced with positive minded people, that share a view of collective and progressive forward thinking ideas that will benefit the City in the long run. Despite Central Government intervention, it looks like they have now reverted back to type.

By Stephen Hart

Glad to see them not blindly following Officer recommendations. The crafting of which should also be examined.

Private “investors” should not be able to buy up property in prime commercial areas, sit on it uninvested as it festers and then dump it on the city as a slum dwelling for students (at best) claiming no alternative option.

By Jeff

Maybe residential is the best decision. They can’t fill office space here as rents per square foot are so cheap because businesses don’t want to locate here. I can’t see those decisions changing when this council continues to send out the message, ‘Liverpol is not open for business’ I can’t see any change in attitude that suggests differently. I’m afraid the picture is very different in many towns and cities close by. Liverpool is being left behind to the advantage of our neighbours.

By Steve Davis.

Manchester City Council has 96 seats.
88 Labour, 4 Green, 4 Lib Dem.
How can people claim that Liverpool can’t flourish under Labour, whereas Manchester clearly can.
Does Liverpool have a different kind of Labour party?
Please enlighten me.

Also developers need to be mindful of affordable housing when making planning applications, this has been a hot topic for years, its not be sprung upon them.

Do we want a fair and equitable society or not?

By LordLiverpool

More planning committee chaos, do they do this to justify their roles, take a look at the LCC planning portal and there’s next to nothing coming through for months, except house extensions, HMOs, communication masts, wellbeing hubs. There’s no great developments, where is Old Hall Place, Pall Mall etc, the Chinatown scheme is bogged down, all the talk of being on the verge of a building boom when there’s no evidence, thank goodness for Legacie.

By Anonymous

Well done LCC planning committee. This was the right decision as office to resi is not the right answer for Moorfields. Anyone who has walked through there recently will know why! I am concerned that it was not a majority rejection as it makes no planning sense whatsoever.

By Tazmando

Yes. Clearly Manchester does have a different kind of labour party. Manchester as a city is open to business, it is progressive and prospers. Livepool Labour sends messages to discourage business, and yhe city continues to stagnate. I am afraid things really are not looking good and the future is looking bleak. Until this council shows positive outlook things are going to go from bad to worse. I suggest our Labour leaders shadow Manchester Labour leaders on training schemes to learn how to govern and how to do a proper job. Liverpool Labour 0/10. Manchester Labour 10/10. That’s the difference. The economy of the two cities justifies this. We are so far behind and the gap is continuing to worsen. Poor show, Liverpool Labour. Yes, there has been a very big difference between the two Labour councils for decades and the fruits of their labour are so different to measure.

By Stephen Davis.

Being open for business isn’t converting all our good quality office stock into shabby residential developments. These conversions are nearly always poorly done. The flats above moorfields are terrible and I actually went to view one myself.

By Anonymous

Regardless of whether the residential conversion in Moorfields goes ahead or not, it’s the decades long failure of Liverpool City Council to have any plans for all the vacant land in this area, which should include both residential and mid-rise commercial. Outside Moorfields station has been a smelly campsite for years and very off-putting, also the station escalator needs to be landing at ground level. Add to this the lack of any strategy for London Rd, Pig and Whistle site, etc and it just ranks as total inadequacy.

By Anonymous

Looking back from today to May 1 on the PNW Liverpool pages, there are no stories of firm developments , just projections of TJ Morris having plans for a
tall building off Greenock St, this city is being largely sidelined by the private sector as they don’t feel welcome.

By Anonymous

Why are all the old men commenting on here so bent out of shape that the council won’t let a developer create a giant block of slum apartments?

This is not a good proposal, this is not going to help the city or its residents. They should not allow these conversions if they cant provide the correct number of affordable units, and personally I don’t think they should allow these conversions anyway, generally they are substandard as the building was designed for an office use and not housing.

The only people upset by this are people who will never have to live in such horrible accommodation.

By Dr Ian Buildings

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