Municipal Buildings hotel secures planning consent

Singapore-based hospitality group Fragrance has been given the go-ahead to convert the grade two-listed former headquarters into a 189-room hotel by Liverpool City Council’s planning committee.

The investor acquired the site in 2017 from the council and enlisted architect Falconer Chester Hall to plan a conversion of the 130,000 sq ft building into a four-star hotel featuring a swimming pool and spa, lobby and lower ground floor and ground floor levels, a ballroom, a bar and restaurant, and a conference hall.

Of the 189 rooms, there will be 24 and 29 guest bedrooms on the lower ground and ground floors respectively, with 68 on the first floor and 67 on the second floor.

A four-storey bronze-clad extension is proposed to the rear next to the NCP car park; this will house leisure facilities, some hotel rooms, and plant. The main entrance to the hotel will be via Dale Street.

The building was in council use until March 2017, although a “One Stop Shop” facility was operational at the site until February this year.

The plans were given the green light subject to a Section 106 agreement, which includes £56,000 towards tree planting – half of which will be paid before the development begins – and a contribution towards the provision of public art.

Alastair Shepherd, director of Falconer Chester Hall said: “This is a significant commission for us to convert a building that had been at the centre of the city’s public life for more than a century-and-a-half.

“We will carry out a sensitive refurbishment of the existing highly decorative spaces and deliver a scheme the site and its history deserve. This consent is testimony to the close working relationship with Historic England and the council’s conservation department.”

Along with Falconer Chester Hall, the professional team also includes Turley as planner, Curtins as structural engineer, Crookes Walker on M&E, Auditive as acoustic consultant, Turley Heritage, Tyrer Partnership on ecology and TTHC on transport.

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Given the fabric of the building, there is no excuse for this to be anything other than a high quality development. Look forward to seeing it.

By Mark Gilbertson

The money being thrown at Manchester town hall and the houses of parliament is of course nothing but a waste, when each could have been flogged to some hotel developer or car park operator. Liverpool leads the way once again.

If other places also followed suit and moved out into palatial fixer uppers, with budgets to blow, we could have on our hands a whole new genre in property related reality TV shows.

I hope Principle will consider adding a commemorative plaque: “Liverpool democracy. 1835 – 2010”.

By Mike

Liverpool City Council still has its impressive Town Hall and has moved into quality accommodation anyway (what was this originally built as?). Developing this as a hotel makes tonnes of sense – looking forward to seeing it completed.

By Optimist

Liverpool has two civic halls still: the Georgian Town Hall; and, the neoclassical masterpiece St. George’s Hall. Both bring huge dividends to the city due to their cultural significance. They are both Grade 1 listed. This hotel in the old Municipal Buildings, itself a wonderful Victorian structure complete with old clock tower will only add to the appeal if Dale Street at the heart of the World Heritage Site.

By Roscoe

@Mike has been on the bromide again.

The council’s new home in Cunard is massively more impressive than the tired Municipal Buildings. When I take clients from out of town to meet council officers their response is always approval. One said to me last week “This is what a serious local authority looks like.”

The new use for the Muni will help in the transformation of Dale Street whilst adding a further high quality product to our tourism offer and creating a few hundred jobs. And, as @Roscoe notes, we have St George’s Hall and the Town Hall for civic events. Top them.

By Sceptical

It’ll be nice to see this fine old building get some TLC. Good news for Liverpool.

By Moomo