Lime Street June 2015 design

Neptune revises Lime Street plans

The developer has started public consultation on revised plans for a major mixed-use scheme along one side of Lime Street in Liverpool city centre following criticism of the original designs.

Neptune, working with Liverpool City Council, faced calls for more vibrant plans after the last consultation in April led to residents calling the plain brick façade bland and unimaginative.

Lime Street June 2015 designThe new designs for the East side of Lime Street, by IBI Group and Broadway Malyan, attempt to address those design issues with more colour and more varied frontages.

Steve Parry, managing Director of Neptune Developments, said: “The consultation has been very helpful. It has given us a chance to re-think the project in a wider context that looks at Lime Street’s history and its future within a rapidly changing and dynamic city centre. The new design is more urban, more visually dramatic and more integrated. It’s very much part of an emerging vision for the whole of Lime Street and its surrounding area.”

Neptune said in a statement to coincide with the new consultation period: “The redesign re-introduces the existing block pattern of the Eastside of Lime Street with imaginative metal panels that give distinctive personality to each block and can be dramatically back-lit at night. In addition to the radically redesigned buildings, incorporating hotel, shops, restaurants and student accommodation, the scheme canvasses longer term ideas for Lime Street including the potential semi-pedestrianisation of the area between the Crown and Vine pubs. It has still not been possible to save the facade of the Futurist cinema within the new scheme because of its poor structural condition.

“Another key element of the vision is a proposal to create an entirely new kind of entertainment and media hub in the restored ABC cinema. The listed Art Deco building has been vacant for nearly two decades but is set to become both a major live music venue and a studio for the production and broadcast of international TV programmes. The complex will house, TV production facilities, three restaurants, a coffee shop and basement cocktail bar as well as a performance auditorium and two TV studios. One of the core ideas underpinning the business plan for the venue is a new live TV music and chat show from Liverpool with a transatlantic link-up to New York.

The vision for the ABC cinema building was the brainchild of Liverpool music entrepreneur Mark Cowley. He explained: “We have been working for over a year on the project and have already had massive interest and support from leading media companies, collaborators and promoters. This is a fantastic building and has all the versatility and space we need, for what will be a unique media and performance destination.”

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “Lime Street is one of the major gateways into and out of the city and has been neglected for far too long. It is crucial that any scheme is ambitious and creates the best possible first impression of the city. I am pleased that the architects have listened to the feedback from the consultation and created something that I believe will make this part of Liverpool vibrant and exciting.”

The revised plans for the Eastside of Lime Street will now go forward for consideration by Liverpool City Council’s Planning Committee before the end of July, with further public consultation taking place until the 23 July.

Your Comments

Still looks like a prison block, and to think they have had a “think tank”trying to persaude the public on this….
What next searchlights and guards..

By causal observer

A child could design better, it looks awful!

By MancWatcher

That is dire. Looks more like Blackpool prom than the major gateway to the city centre

By midway

The design is getting better, but still needs a lot more detail adding to the colourful blocks at street level; and the multi-story section which is set back needs to become much more recessive: it’s not approriate to pick this section out as blocks in the same way as the street level section as it will look ridiculous in the context of a multi-storey building. Instead the architects should consider a lighter touch where the multi-story section could hover over and behind the Lime Street frontages.

The overall concept for this key area of the city though is a good one! If it is done well, it could be the beginning of the transformation of Lime Street. The plans for the old ABC cinema are perfect including the proposals for broadcasts from ‘Lime Square’ to Time Square!

By Paul Blackburn

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