Demolition work has started to deliver a 26,000 sq ft Home Bargains store on the 11-acre former Rayware site off Speke Boulevard.
Retail group TJ Morris received planning consent for the store in March last year, supported by planning consultant Quod, and has now started work to clear the site ahead of building a 26,000 sq ft Home Bargains, which will also feature a garden centre.
There will also be another 27,500 sq ft retail unit and a 1,850 sq ft restaurant or leisure unit.
The site was allocated as a primarily industrial area, and plans were approved despite it not being allocated for retail in the area’s local development plan.
As a result, there was the possibility that the scheme would be scrutinised by the Secretary of State at the Department for Communities & Local Government, but the project was never called in.
The Booth House office block is now being demolished to make way for the first phase of the scheme, which has full planning consent. The eastern part of the site has outline consent for up to 97,000 sq ft of industrial or distribution space.
Before securing permission, the proposals had attracted objections from other retailers, particularly competitor B&M which sent three letters opposing the scheme. Asda and other local businesses had also raised objections, while a local councillor also opposed the project, arguing it would lead to an increase in traffic congestion.
However, council planners said the scheme would regenerate a problem site and provide a £25m investment in the area, along with creating 100 jobs.