Natwest vacated the city centre site in 2017. Credit: Google Earth

PLANNING | Liverpool go-ahead for JSM hotel

A pair of industrial schemes in Speke have been greenlit by the city council, along with the redevelopment of a former Natwest bank into a 92-bedroom hotel.


Pharmaron, Estuary Business Park

Pharmaron Speke via Google Earth

The plot in question sits south of Estuary Boulevard and spans 10 acres. Image via Google Earth

The Chinese pharmaceutical firm, working with advisor WHP, has secured approval for the first phase of redevelopment of a 10-acre site at Estuary Business Park, comprising a three-storey production facility.

Beijing-headquartered Pharmaron Biologics operates from an existing facility on two Estuary sites it acquired from the previous occupier Allergan – part of US-based AbbVie – last March for $118.7m.

The building Pharmaron currently occupies with around 150 staff is called The Hub and sits on one side of Estuary Banks Road. This sits opposite a second building known as the NBC, which has 10 acres of undeveloped land to the south. Pharmaron wants to develop this plot in three phases totalling around 400,000 sq ft to expand its operations.

Under the first phase, the company would build a 213,000 sq ft production facility with offices, laboratories, and warehousing over three floors, plus associated car parking. Future phases could see a 350-400 space multistorey car park and a commercial warehouse and additional offices to consolidate operations from the Hub building onto a single site.

The first-phase application includes 20 electric vehicle charging points.

Land east of Boulevard Retail Park

tj morris shed

TJ Morris has a flagship store nearby. Credit: planning documents

Developer: TJ Morris and Davis Property Developments

Architect: IDA

Planner: Quod

In a further Speke scheme retailer T J Morris, which trades as Home Bargains, has the all-clear to build a 100,000 sq ft warehouse on land east of Boulevard Retail Park, a site that houses a flagship store for the group.

The building is proposed for a vacant five-acre site on the northern side of Speke Boulevard.

The site used to be occupied by housewares company Rayware, now based on Triumph Trading Park. B&M Retail was an objector to the scheme, with GL Hearn engaged by the applicant to rebuff the rival’s claims.

Under the plans, T J Morris’ business unit would comprise an 88,000 sq ft warehouse, 11,000 sq ft of offices over two floors, car parking, a services yard, and external works and landscaping.

Castle Street hotel

The building could be put at risk if plans are not approved, according to planning officers. Credit: Google Earth

Developer: JSM

Architect and planner: Wroot Design

The way is now clear for the former NatWest building at 20-34 Castle Street to be converted into a 92-room hotel with a double-storey roof extension.

Developer JSM Company Group, headed up by Jamie Motlagh, aims to bring back into use the vacant grade two-listed Liverpool city centre property, which NatWest vacated in 2017 when it relocated to a new branch on Church Street.

JSM bought the site in January 2021.

Under the plans, vacant office space across part of the ground floor and all of the upper floors and basement of 20-26 Castle Street, together with the upper floors of 32-24 Castle Street, would be converted into a 33,000 sq ft hotel with 92 bedrooms.

The hotel would be accessed from Castle Street through the building’s main entrance or a new entrance door within 20-26 Castle Street, according to the plans. The two-storey rooftop addition is expected to house nine of the hotel rooms.

Planning references for the projects are 22F/0849 for TJ Morris and 22F/1314 for Pharmaron, while the hotel project’s main reference is 21F/2507 and its listed building reference 21L/3643.

Your Comments

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This is further Blackpoolification of the city centre. Liverpool doesn’t need any more hotels, hen parties and Wetherspoons.
We need to get out of this mindset and to see ourselves as a serious city, not the party capital where visitors come to get drunk, or the dormitory town of the chosen city. We need to attract serious investment, not weekend warriors.

By Michael McDonut

@McDonut every city needs hotel to accomadate business

By Anonymous

More hotels please less nonsense

By Anonymous

Another absolutely beautiful building like the municipal buildings that featured yesterday. It will make an amazing hotel – but yes I do worry Liverpool hanging its hat too much on tourism!

By Mary Smiley

Sorry Anonymous Michael is spot on . I am tired of seeing hen and stag parties taking over our city its embarrassing and also at best offers a moderate boost to the economy over a weekend , it also brings with it generally poor behavior. We already have a significant supply of hotels and rooms what we dont have in order to remain a serious city with good career prospects is new businesses. Sadly the local council are beyond redemption along with being anti business whilst seeming to have an invisible “leader “, anyone seen Anderson ?? the silence is deafening , we are turning into a theme park. Its criminal watching Manchester progress and being open for business (well done them ) as our city regresses to be reliant on tourism . Sad .

By Paul M - Woolton

Never understand the ‘we don’t need more hotels’ shouts. I’m pretty sure investors will have done their due diligence before putting their hands in their pockets. Not all hotels are ‘party pads’, looks at Radisson Red and Municipal Buildings which are both looking very solid offerings. Is there room for stronger growth and development in the business sector? Absolutely, but the doesn’t have to be at the tourism elements detriment. That’s on the council to attract that investment, not individual investment companies who want to create a new hotel, jobs and bring what is currently a redundant building back to use.

By L17

To the posters who don`t want any more hotels or bars, the reality is that if these businesses saw no future for them they would not open them, in addition do you think this is putting off developers of offices and other commercial businesses? No chance.
Try visiting somewhere like Hamburg that mixes the possibly dubious pleasures of the Reeperbahn, plus hotels and bars, with one of the most powerful local economies in Europe.

By Anonymous

I think what we actually need are more businesses to fill these hotels.

By anonymous

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