A High Court judge has dismissed an application from a campaign group for a judicial review into the approval of the £35m regeneration of Lime Street in Liverpool.
The bid by Save Britain’s Heritage to overturn planning permission which was granted to Regeneration Liverpool last year was on the grounds that the city council had failed to notify the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, in breach of planning guidance.
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 at the start of 2015, 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 then approved in summer 2015.
The development will see the demolition of the facade of the former Futurist cinema.
In a judgment handed down today, Justice Patterson dismissed the substantive application for a judicial review, because Historic England were consulted and did not raise any objections, nor request that the scheme be called in for scrutiny by Secretary of State at the Department for Communities & Local Government, Greg Clark.
She described the evidence provided by the city council at the hearing in December as “impressive and clear”, concluding that the local authority had properly considered whether the scheme would have an impact on the outstanding universal value of the World Heritage Site.
Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, described the objection by Save Britain’s Heritage as “spurious” and said: “We were confident that we had properly and rigorously considered this application following all of the relevant Government guidance, and it is pleasing that the High Court has come to the same conclusion.
“Lime Street is a key gateway route in the city centre that is in desperate need of investment and upgrading. The scheme went through a very rigorous evaluation before being approved.
“We want to get on with allowing the developers to invest in their vision and bring Lime Street up to a much higher standard than it has been for decades and one that is fitting for a major entry point into the city centre.
“I look forward to us now being able to crack on with the much needed transformation of this area of the city centre which will no doubt act as a catalyst for further investment and development in the area.”
Demolition is due to start on site in the coming weeks.