Anwyl’s student scheme on old coach station approved

Developer Anwyl Construction has been given the go-ahead for a £35m student accommodation development in Liverpool city centre.

Liverpool City Council planning committee on Tuesday approved plans for the North Wales-based company to start work on the development of 566 apartments on the Norton Street site of Liverpool’s former National Express coach station.

It is Anwyl’s first major development in Liverpool and will be made up of two blocks, one of 16 storeys and another of 10 storeys, at 45-degrees to each other and facing onto the busy Islington thoroughfare.

The two blocks will be joined at ground floor level by a glazed block with landscaped areas at the entrance on Islington and Norton Street and within a courtyard area between the blocks.

Tom Anwyl, director of Anwyl Construction, said: “Liverpool is a thriving and exciting city and we’re proud to be playing a part in its transformation.

“The Anwyl Group has a solid reputation for high quality and thoughtful building in North Wales and we have ambitious plans for expansion in the North West.

“We believe that to gain unanimous approval for such a significant development in a key location in the city is the perfect way to launch Anwyl across the border.

“There were no objections and it was commended by Peter Jones of Liverpool Planning and suggested that the scheme was in the right location for the local universities.”

The council gave the development unanimous approval and said it would contribute towards the mix of residential accommodation and support the regeneration of the Islington area.

The report of the Interim head of Planning said: “The development will respond well to the surrounding buildings and will be of sufficiently high quality to ensure it contributes positively to the surrounding area whilst respecting the distinctive nature of the locality.”

The disused Waterloo rail tunnel runs underneath the Norton Street site and Anwyl is consulting with Network Rail about the development while the tunnel’s grade two-listed ventilation tower will be preserved as part of the scheme.

Anwyl also has plans for a second development in the city centre, a 21-floor tower in Pall Mall housing 342 units.

A planning application is set to be lodged by Anwyl Construction in the next month. There will be a mix of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.

Tom Anwyl added: “We are committed to ensuring that the areas in which we work benefit from the investment in them by ensuring that wherever possible we use local sub-contractors and source our materials through local supply chains and this is a policy we will continue in Liverpool.”

The Anwyl group is a family run company founded in Rhyl in 1930 and which this year moved into a new £2.5m headquarters in Ewloe, in Flintshire.

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I don’t have a problem with flats on this site, student or otherwise. The issue is these look they don’t respect the urban grain and are set back from the streets that surround them.
Why is Liverpool still making the same mistakes that it did decades ago? The city deserves much better than this.

By Gillespie

This is a bit “oh dear”. This end of town already feels a bit desolate and, dare I say it, soulless. Why the student ghettoes?

By franz

Maybe to stop it being so desolate and add a little life.

By John.

I am overwhelmed by the quantity and lack of quality of virtually every student accommodation scheme that has been given planning approval by Liverpool in the last few years. Has anyone seen the stick on bricks falling off the block opposite the Philharmonic Hall? These are the slums of the near future – morally and civically reprehensible

By Badger2015

Have to agree with Badger here. Just down the road there’s the Fox Street Village or whatever silly name they’ve given it, City Point has had a change of use from unsuccessful office block to terrible student digs and then there’s the X1 thing just up the road. All terrible buildings, homages to foreign investors.

By Anonymous

A sign of the times all over the UK.

By John.

The yield on student accom must be huge and low risk. Why then do they get away with such shoddy buildings generally? Are the returns, in fact, quite uncertain?

By Invest

Not the best architecture for that location, although in fairness I think anything would look awkward in that spot.

Reminds me, I dropped my Uncle off at that old National Express coach station for him to go on holiday about 20 years ago. I rushed off impatient like you do when you’re young; felt bad for ages after.

By Mizzer

..’don’t respect the urban grain..’. The problem is that Islington has not had ‘a grain’ since it was widened, slicing through the city 50 years ago. There needs to be a proper vision with development briefs for this key city approach. It’s always gotta have the major arterial traffic function but it could be envisioned as a boulevard entrance to the city, with a plan that will give it coherence, and create positive first impressions. It’s as important as The Strand in that regard despite the different function. Enough of it is still undeveloped… It could still be shaped for the better. Take control Liverpool!

By Alfie

Well said Alfie – a “boulevard” idea and a coherent design strategy here would be massively beneficial to the city

By franz

Rightly said Alfie, Islington has presented a very wide barrier in terms of traffic and big junctions. If the proposed buildings along here can bring some animation to the street level it will be be much better for it. The slow decay in this area has been evident for a very long time and a thriving population supporting cafes,shops etc are needed. The current fabric quarter here needs reinvigorating, to stop it falling into further decay.

By Man on bicycle

What’s needed here is affordable housing for ordinary people. Bungalows for the elderly, traditional semis, front and back gardens, fences, hedges and affordable prices. A stable, mature population will benefit the area a lot more than cheapo student blocks just so people whizzing through in their cars can pretend they’re driving down the Champs Elysee.

By Ferdinand