No inquiry needed for £35m Lime Street redevelopment

Plans for the regeneration of the east side of Lime Street in Liverpool will not be called in by the Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government, according to a statement from the city council.

The application relates to the majority of the block bounded by Lime Street, Skelhorne Street, Copperas Hill and Bolton Street.

Regeneration Liverpool, a joint venture between Sigma Inpartnership, the council, and developer Neptune, submitted plans earlier this year, but these were revised after criticism from residents.

The revised proposal 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 earlier this month.

The development will see the demolition of the facade of the former Futurist cinema. Because of this issue some heritage groups called on the Government to hold an inquiry into the plans.

The city council has now been told that the Secretary for State for Communities & Local Government will not call in the decision.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “I am glad that DCLG have recognised that this sort of decision is better made locally where there is a knowledge and understanding of the area.

“Lime Street is a key gateway route in the city centre but it is in desperate need of investment and upgrading. The current scheme went through a very rigorous evaluation before being determined.”

Steve Parry, managing director of Neptune Developments, said: “We are pleased that the Government have respected a local decision made by people who know and understand the issues and the area. Lime Street urgently needs this project to happen and we have the investors and end-users primed and ready to go.

“The loss of The Futurist is regrettable but committed, local campaigners understand that the building had simply got to a point where restoration was impossible. It’s been frustrating to have London-based interest groups trying to derail the project, not least because we have demonstrated our commitment to conservation through the energy and ingenuity that we have invested in plans for the restoration of the landmark ABC cinema.

“This project and this building would have been jeopardised had this application been called in and development stalled for up to two years. This is a great result for Lime Street and Liverpool.”

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Despite my reservations about the design of the block to the rear above Lime Street I’m glad that this scheme is to go-ahead without an enquiry and without delays as the decision should be local and the scheme is too important to the city.

By Paul Blackburn

They could still incorporate the futurist façade. Come on Steve. have a heart!

By Mary Smiley

Joe doesn’t really know what he’s talking about and saying that this decision is best made locally is one thing. But he is only banging on for his own devolution band wagon. This decision could have been made locally but to keep the façade.- and incorporate it. So many wonderful things are being demolished. To make way for nasty looking architecture – and I agree money is tight so architects are limited they are not miracle workers. But they don’t build em like they used to! Don’t let this go Steve and Joe! Save it.

By Bob Dawson

Bob, have you been here for the last 30 years and seen how the water’s been leaking in all that time. I used to go to the Futurist in its heyday. They probably could ‘save’ it but I suspect it would involve rebuilding from scratch. Maybe Lime Street does need to look to the future as the Futurist once did.

By Paul Blackburn

or could’ve just kept the facade

By scrub

… an interesting debate.

Lime Street is currently the biggest embarrassment to the City of LIverpool … a portal, a place of arrival, a place of departure, the first and last impression most visitors get of the City and first impressions count.

Well done Neptune … took hold of a difficult situation and developed a scheme that will bring much needed jobs and investment into the City and create a gateway to Liverpool which is many times greater than what is there is now or has been for the last 25 years …

As for the save the facadists out there Bob … the Futurist could have been saved some 25 years ago but where were the friends of the Futurists then, being friends to other worthwhile causes no doubt …

Will the scheme win the Sterling Prize, no, but well done to all involved for grabbing hold of a problem and making it work, Maggie May would be proud!

By Norman Davies

Well said Norman

By Paul Blackburn

Really like this development … Liverpool is boom town now

By Matt