Plough Rice Lane

PLANNING | Committee to consider Rice Lane hotel

A decision on the future of the Plough Inn in Walton will be made at next Tuesday’s planning committee, with the pub set for demolition under plans opposed by two local councillors.

The proposal was deferred at October’s commitee, and the visit will take place ahead of next Tuesday’s meeting, which will then determine whether or not to approve the demolition of the Rice Lane pub and its replacement by a hotel.

Officers have recommended outline approval for the project, which has attracted fierce opposition locally. Ward councillors Ann O’Byrne and Richard McLinden spoke against the scheme at October’s meeting.

The Plough is set back from Rice Lane and is a two-storey pub with well-used function rooms. The proposal is to demolish it and replace it with a hotel, the applicant claiming that the pub is in too poor a condition to redevelop.

Indicative images supplied as part of the application include 40 rooms over four storeys. However, advisor Graham Patrick, who has worked with applicant N Redmond of Kirkby on the application, told Place North West that at this stage, no decision has been made as to its size.

In all, 112 objections have now been received by the council, including that of the Victorian Society, which said that the building has a “group value” with a neighbouring lodge dating from the short-lived late 19th century Liverpool Zoological Gardens.

However, Historic England declined to add the pub to its List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest – the windows are now PVC, while no information has been provided as to the interior survival of plan-form. The site sits within the Rice Lane Local Centre as defined by the Liverpool UDP, meaning in a general sense it is deemed suitable for hotel development.

The other item of significance facing committee is the request from Bevington Developments, led by Australian director Greg Malouf, to vary a condition on the consent granted in October 2017 for the development of 614 apartments at the Bevington Bush site – a Falconer Chester Hall-designed scheme with three blocks of 9-17 storeys, which replaced a previous plan for student accommodation..

The developer agreed to pay £506,785 in lieu of off-site open space provision prior to development starting, but has requested that this be changed to 50% paid up-front and 50% on occupation of the development. The planning officer recommends approval.

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