PLANNING | Liverpool grants consent to LEP chairman’s call centre on council land

The council has approved plans from LEP chairman Asif Hamid’s The Contact Company and development partner YPG for a call centre at Monarch’s Quay, alongside a raft of residential projects.

The 45,000 sq ft office is to be built on land owned by Liverpool City Council, bought from the Homes & Communities Agency with £6m of Regional Growth Fund money. The location was previously earmarked for tourism uses.

The Contact Company is owned by the city region Local Enterprise Partnership chairman Asif Hamid, and the Monarch’s Quay site will be in addition to other offices operated by his business in Wirral.

The plot is the last prime waterfront plot at Kings Dock and sits next to the arena and convention centre, Pullman hotel, multi-storey car park and residential blocks. It was originally highlighted in the LEP’s visitor economy strategy and destination management plan as ideal for “Olympic standard ice rink, extreme sports centre and quality restaurants.”

The proposals have come under fire, particularly from property companies operating in the area, for the lack of open market process when selecting a developer for the site. There have also been questions over whether a call centre is the best use of publicly-owned land.

The council has maintained that future uses for the area surrounding the call centre could include a major leisure attraction, a hotel, apartments and homes, restaurants, bars and shops and a car park. A Winter Garden, public realm, bowling complex and a virtual reality leisure centre are also being considered.

YPG is TCC’s development partner, and said it would start on site building the office early in the New Year, but is yet to appoint a contractor.

Several other schemes were also granted consent at Liverpool City Council’s planning committee on 19 December, including 170 student apartments, and a 122 bedroom hotel.


Land off Devon Street

Devon Street New

Developer: Devon Street Limited
Architect: Falconer Chester Hall
Planner: Zerum
Storeys: Seven
Student beds: 124

The development will include 3,200 sq ft of commercial space across two units at ground floor level. There will be 44 student apartments and eight student clusters of 10 beds each on the upper floors, for a total of 124 student rooms.

It neighbours YPG’s proposals for 449 flats at Gildart Street, which was given the green light by the council earlier this month.

5 Parr Street/Slater Place

Parr Street

Developer: Elliot Group
Architect: Falconer Chester Hall
Planner: Zerum
Storeys: Seven
Apartments: 38

Elliot Group’s plans for a residential block on Parr Street and Slater Place next to its Wolstenholme Square development were consented.

The proposals include a seven-storey block of 38 apartments, including two studios, 32 one-beds and four two-beds, as well as a commercial unit on the ground floor.

Strand Plaza extension

Strand Plaza

Developer: Primesite
Architect: Brock Carmichael
Apartments: 12
Main contractor: Impel

Primesite’s application for a two-storey rooftop extension to Mersey House, now dubbed Strand Plaza, was approved.

The developer has already started converting the building on The Strand into apartments, with completion scheduled for March 2018, and is now set to extend the building by a further two storeys at rooftop level.

This extension, coupled with additional single-storey space alongside the building, will add a further 12 apartments to the site, bringing the total up to 121.

Seel Street hotel

42 Seel Street

Developer: Elliot Group
Architect: Falconer Chester Hall
Rooms: 122

Elliot Group plans to switch the hotel on Seel Street from an aparthotel to a hotel, operated by The Times by Vincent, with the external appearance of the mixed five and seven-storey building remaining the same.

Construction work is already underway with Newry as main contractor, but the rooms have been changed from 42 apartments to 122 hotel rooms under the new planning application.

A rooftop bar terrace and ground floor bar are also part of the proposals.

Your Comments

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What I don’t understand with the Kings Dock site is why aren’t they just delivering the call centre. Why are they also delivering residential etc. Surely the Council haven’t been able to circumvent all procurement on the site without breaching EU procurement rules.

By Query

Anyone know what the process is to appeal this? This whole thing stinks and needs investigating

By Sc

That Kings Dock decision stinks of corruption!!
Whoever made this decision needs to be investigated!
Why on earth would we want a call centre at that site!?
The City has been crying out for an ice rink for decades!


By Kayla Bibby

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