The developer has asked Liverpool City Council not to register its application for the redevelopment of Beetham Plaza until a Heritage England assessment of the site’s ‘bucket fountain’ sculpture completes.
Elliot first revealed plans for the square after buying the site in January this year; proposals include building a 100-room aparthotel to be occupied by Epic, with Falconer Chester Hall as architect.
The developer is also proposing to relocate and refurbish the bucket fountain by Richard Huws and commissioned in 1962.
Heritage England is deciding whether or not to list the structure, which commemorates the start of the controversial Tryweryn Water Scheme, which led to the displacement of 70 residents of Capel Celyn village after it was flooded.
As a result, Elliot has paused the planning application for Beetham Plaza; if the listing is approved, then the developer will be able to submit supplementary documentation to support the re-siting of the fountain, before the main application is registered.
“We’re proud to own such a wonderful piece of Liverpool heritage and we’ve been clear that we want to ensure it continues to entertain and delight locals and visitors alike,” said Elliot Lawless of Elliot Group.
“Our issue has always been that it’s tucked away. We’d like it to become a ‘must Instagram’ attraction for the city, but more seagulls find it each day than tourists and residents. If we were to re-site it then more people could enjoy its wonderful engineering.”
On the potential listing, Lawless added: “In many ways we’d be pleased as it proves what a unique and special piece of sculpture it is. Beetham Plaza was the designer’s fourth choice location and we’d argue it deserves to be somewhere more prominent, as was the original intention.
“Listing doesn’t preclude an item from being moved and we’d still consider pursuing this as we think it’s the best way of securing the fountain’s complete refurbishment whilst making it a more visible asset for the city.”
Potential sites for the fountain that have been put forward include Williamson Square.
The mixed-use Beetham Plaza was completed in the 1990s and includes 42 luxury apartments, the restaurants Etsu and Silk Road, 4,500 sq ft of offices, and an underground cark park.