Work was well underway stripping back the former sorting office to concrete and steel core

Demolition planned for Copperas Hill sorting office

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

Liverpool John Moores University is going back to the drawing board on its plans at Copperas Hill, with a demolition contractor appointed to take down the former Royal Mail sorting office, despite extensive work having taken place on what was set to be a £100m redevelopment of the building.

Armac Demolition has submitted an application to Liverpool City Council to clear the 280,000 sq ft structure, on behalf of LJMU.

In November, LJMU cited “significantly increased costs” as it announced that it was stopping work on the £100m refurbishment of building, which was set to deliver a 355,000 sq ft multi-use student facility, designed by BDP.

LJMU bought the sorting office and its surrounding three-acre site in 2011 from Royal Mail. Lendlease has been on site since 2015, stripping back the building to its steel and concrete frame to allow for its expansion.

The application from Armac maintains that the plans are still “to provide a new university campus of buildings. In the short term the site will be hoarded to prevent access until planning permission is obtained for each phase.”

Lendlease and BDP are no longer involved with the project, with the university understood to be considering the construction of a series of smaller buildings on the cleared plot, to allow for greater control over capital expenditure.

Armac has applied to start demolition this month, to complete the work by July.

An LJMU spokesman said: “The university decided in November to consider new design proposals for the Copperas Hill project and the latest phase of this new approach includes the demolition of the existing building on the development site. We remain positively committed to developing exciting plans for the Copperas Hill project, which will be a major catalyst for our students and the city of Liverpool.”

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