Liverpool City Council has agreed terms to buy the Pall Mall car park at the rear of Exchange Station from the Homes & Communities Agency, and has resurrected plans to bring forward a commercial scheme on the three-acre site.
The plot was formerly part of the train station, and is now partly an NCP car park and partly public realm. HCA has held the freehold since 2010, and prior to that the site was under the control of the North West Development Agency.
According to a report to Liverpool City Council’s cabinet, the site could accommodate up to 350,000 sq ft of commercial floorspace. The council would use money from its recent Regional Growth Fund allocation to pay for a contractor for remediation works, and then secure a developer.
In 2005 Liverpool Vision gained outline planning permission for a £130m Pall Mall business quarter on the site designed by RHWL Architects. Detailed planning applications were never brought forward due to difficult market conditions.
The cabinet is meeting on Friday 11 December to approve the acquisition of the site for an undisclosed sum. A report ahead of the meeting said: “The HCA is not in a position to drive forward pre-development works or the development of the site within an early time period. The City Council in turn sees the site as a critical site in the support and development of the office sector within the established Commercial Business District.”
The site is not immediately ready for development, due to poor ground conditions and third party rights on the land which need to be negotiated.