Im Marsh Current
Views to the Welsh hills are to be retained within the project

LJMU advances Mossley Hill housing

Neil Tague

Liverpool John Moores University, which will leave its IM Marsh campus in south Liverpool this summer, is taking forward plans for around 200 homes at the site.

The university is working with CBRE and Planit-IE on working up a planning application for the site, the development being enabled by the move to the development at Copperas Hill, which reached practical completion in March, and the new School of Education building on Maryland Street.

The IM Marsh site houses sporting facilities, along with the faculties of education, community and leisure.

A pre-planning consultation has been launched, which will run until 15 June, allowing people to offer input on what they’d like to see happen at the site, off Mossley Hill Road.

The university said: “The site will be redeveloped and LJMU is committed to leaving a positive legacy in the local community.

“As part of this process, we want to hear from local residents and stakeholders about how we develop an appropriate scheme for the IM Marsh site.

“Once a planning application is submitted to Liverpool City Council, there will then be a formal consultation as part of the usual planning process.

“However, we want to give you an opportunity to share your thoughts before then. We are in the process of preparing a planning application for new housing and public open space at the site and want to hear your views on the draft proposals.”

Im Marsh Masterplan

An illustrative masterplan of how the scheme might be laid out

The grade two-listed Holmefield House and its gardens will be retained in any plans. The plans will also inclue around five acres of open space.

The consultation boards available online added: “The university does not wish to sell the site without being able to influence its development and leave a long-standing legacy,” talking of the desire for a “sensitive residential-led development” that helps meet housing need while providing accessible and connected open spaces.

Included in illustrative masterplan images are areas offering a mix of housing and apartment buildings of up to three storeys, with up to 60 apartments included in a housing-led scheme.

A planning application is expected this summer, with the university vacating in September.

Conerns have been raised locally through forums such as the Mossley Hill Reidents Association over the cumulative effect of various projects coming forward in the area, questioning whether the highways infrastructure can cope.

In October last year the University of Liverpool put its 22-acre Carnatic halls of residence site up for sale, marketed as a “significant” residential development opportunity, while Elan Homes has advanced a 60-home project at the same unviersity’s former Dale Hall site.

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Barkhill Road and South Mossley Hill Road are single file traffic as it stands and often busy. It’s tricky driving around there. Expect traffic to be the lightening rod on this one…

By Sceptical

Would be nice for it to be a playing field with benches and tables sand pits plus swings etc so many houses in area traffic is horrendous now. But money talks and is most probably sold to a developer already

By Anthony Tully

Be careful what you wish for as they say! Parking was an issue for the local roads – and residents weren’t happy – but I think that this development will cause a traffic nightmare. Also the pressure on schools – Sudley and St Austins are already well over subscribed – as is St Margaret’s senior school. But they will have to get through the construction first!
I imagine that there is significant wildlife habitat on there – sad to see so much disappearing bit by bit – Carnatic, now this – it’s chipping away at the ‘green wedge’. I was alarmed to see that Redrow had started building on the other side of the road near Allerton Towers – are Liverpool City Council not thinking about the whole impact as opposed to each development?

By Bob Dawson

This was always an inevitability. As long as the original building footprints are used, and the significant older buildings retained then it won’t be too bad. It is a lovely site with great views down over the river. If this is opened up for public access then that will be a win. The tatty older student blocks and prefabs will not be missed – nor will the hundreds of staff and student cars. Obviously they will be replaced by more construction and, then domestic, traffic on the surrounding roads which is the main issue.

Hopefully it will be a quality developer. People moan about Redrow but their developments are amongst the best, and the new development at Allerton Towers is testimony to that. The land there was privately owned and inaccessible, and the boundary walls had been deteriorating for years. Now restored.

It would be good if some sports facilities could be retained at Barkhill, maybe run by a private company, and accessible to the wider public.

By JA