Maghull gains Hope Street consents

Maghull Developments has received planning permission for two schemes within its £80m Hope Street project in Liverpool city centre.

Revised plans were submitted for 2 Blackburne Place and Josephine Butler House after earlier proposals were deferred at the March meeting of Liverpool City Council's planning committee.

The Grade II-listed 2 Blackburne Place will be refurbished to provide 13 apartments, aimed specifically at affluent owner-occupiers and not the investor market. The approved scheme includes a greater number of two-bedroom units in response to requests from the planning committee. In total, 2 Blackburne Place will comprise six one-bedroom units and seven two-bedroom units.

Josephine Butler House, on the junction of Hope Street and Myrtle Street, will be demolished and rebuilt with 20,000 sq ft of ground floor retail and restaurant units, with 100,000 sq ft of office accommodation on the upper floors. The sixth floor will contain a 7,000 sq ft sky-bar restaurant with outside terrace area, offering unrivalled views along Hope Street to both cathedrals. Maghull said the office space would be of BREEAM Excellent status, making it one of only a handful of properties throughout the North West to achieve such a high level of sustainability and energy efficiency and only the second in Liverpool. Josephine Butler House will also provide 265 car parking spaces in three basement levels.

Michael Hanlon, managing director of Maghull Developments, commented: "This scheme was borne out of extensive consultation with the city council's planning and conservation officers, English Heritage and various resident groups and these two latest approvals will bring our vision for Hope Street one step closer. We're delighted with the planning decision and the opportunity to contribute to the diverse architectural mix along Hope Street.

"Far from the popular perception of it being a unified whole, Hope Street is, in fact, one of the best examples of the 200-year wave of speculative development and architectural experimentation that makes Liverpool so distinctive. Our plans will continue Hope Street's tradition of bold design and the schemes' mix of uses will enhance the vitality and viability of the city's Georgian Quarter, providing a substantial boost to the local economy."

Maghull has now received consent for three of its four proposed schemes on Hope Street. The final scheme includes the Hahnemann Building at 42 Hope Street, which has recently been listed by English Heritage to Grade II listed status. Maghull proposes to convert this, and 58 Hope Street, into a luxury five-star 65-bedroom boutique hotel with bar, restaurant and day-spa. The planning application will be determined at planning committee during the coming months.

Work is expected to start on site at Josephine Butler House, 68 Hope Street and 2 Blackburne Place by the end of 2008 and a three-year construction programme has been put in place. Maghull Developments recently moved its operations to 58 Hope Street in order to oversee the proposed schemes.

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