The Court of Appeal has allowed campaign group SAVE Britain’s Heritage to proceed with its case against the demolition of buildings planned as part of the regeneration of Liverpool’s Lime Street, but agreed with developer Neptune that a decision was required quickly.
A joint venture between Neptune, Liverpool City Council, and Sigma Inpartnership is behind the proposals at Lime Street, which were first submitted at the start of 2015, and were revised after criticism from residents.
The finished plans designed by Broadway Malyan, with IBI Group as planning agent, includes 30,000 sq ft of commercial space, a 101-bedroom hotel, and an 11-storey 412-bedroom student residential building. The planning application was approved in summer 2015.
In particular, the decision to demolish the Futurist Cinema has been unpopular with the public, although council safety officers have deemed the structure to be unsound and recently ordered emergency works to make it safe.
While SAVE’s application to hold an inquiry into the approval process behind the application was refused in January, the Court of Appeal has said that it can progress, but approved Neptune’s application to expedite the decision.
A hearing into the case is expected in mid-June.
Neptune’s managing director, Steve Parry, said: “It was Neptune that last week applied to the Court of Appeal to expedite the decision, and in fact SAVE objected to this as they wished to delay matters further. The court of appeal heard our application on Wednesday and immediately recognised the urgency of the case.
“The decision in effect expedites the hearing and brings us closer to a final resolution and an end to what are clearly legal delaying tactics by SAVE. We are pleased that there will now be a rolled-up hearing that will deal with all the legal and substantive issues concerning the original planning application.
“The Court’s decision reflects the importance of the project and the need for a speedy and definitive decision.”