The Salvation Army’s redevelopment of Strawberry Field in Woolton, a site made famous by its association with The Beatles, has been recommended for approval when Liverpool City Council’s planning committee meets next Tuesday.
The former children’s home on the site, built in the 1970s and named John Lennon Court, will be demolished to make way for a training centre for young adults with learning disabilities, a visitor centre, and community café. The current buildings have been vacant since 2007.
Designed by Hoskins Architects, the two-storey development will provide learning space for up to 40 young adults, alongside an exhibition area. There are plans to display the site’s original gates, which are recognised as “an important cultural asset” by the council due to their association with The Beatles song, in this exhibition space.
Planning permission for the development was first granted in 2014, but plans were revised following a feasibility study. Revisions included an increase in the size of the visitors’ centre and changes to the learning space, while an IT training suite and a common room were removed to keep the project within budget.
Planning officers said: “Despite a marginal loss of green space across the site as a whole, the proposal responds positively to the distinctiveness of the site characteristics, its layout, architectural language and the cultural and historical association of the site and in particular the gates with The Beatles and John Lennon.”
Also recommended for the green light are Liverpool Mutual Homes’ plans to build 145 homes on a site off Edge Lane and Royston Street in Kensington.
Designed by Bowker Sadler Architecture, the development will provide 38 houses, 50 apartments and 57 duplex apartments, split across blocks ranging between two and four storeys in height.
Blocks fronting Edge Lane will include apartments and reach four storeys, while homes to the rear of the site fronting Royston Street will reach two storeys.
The site, which covers 3.9 acres, is currently vacant.
City planning officers said: “The development represents an appropriate response to the site in terms of its height, scale and massing and would contribute positively to the character and appearance of the area without undue loss of amenity for neighbouring occupiers.”
The project has been recommended for approval subject to a Section 106 agreement, which includes a £145,000 provision for off-site open space.