PLANNING | Strawberry Field and Edge Lane on Liverpool agenda

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.

Edge Lane Liverpool Mutual Homes

The scheme on Edge Lane has been designed by Bowker Sadler Architects

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I hope the Strawberry Field centre will be a positive addition to the area and take the Magical Mystery Tour buses and other tourist vehicles and Fab Four taxis off Beaconsfield Road and into the site to avoid the current bottleneck they cause. What with the sale of Lower Lea School to ……..Redrow (I know what a shock) for even more houses there will be further traffic coming onto Beaconsfield Road which is no more than a country lane almost directly opposite Strawberry Field entrance. So lets hope sufficient provision has been made for this?
In regard to the café and centre again – lets hope they maximise what they do with it – there is nothing that takes advantage of the huge amount of visitors that go there from all over the world every day of the year rain or shine. Its just gates that’s it. Then they go to St Peter’s church and again – nothing. I am not talking tacky gift shops – just something to go to, have refreshments. Contribute to the local economy.

By Mary Smiley

in regard to the loss of green space – lets see an effort to make the Salvation Army concentrate and give clear conditions on contribution on increasing the ecological and biodiversity of the green space that is left/remains then?

By Stevie Baines

From a conversation earlier this year, it was suggested that a peace centre was to be set up there and a sculpture of intetnational importance was also to be included. I think the plan is for the centre to be open for the visitors Mary mentions. I live close to SF and the potential for visitor interaction is tremendous.

By Man on Bicycle

With regards to your comment Mary Smiley surely the tour guides, bus companies, taxi companies are all part of the local economy? Furthermore the tour buses are on a tight schedule, they don’t have time to de-coach, grab a coffee and then get on again and also. Whilst I’m sure they will get enough visitors I doubt they will come from the Magical Mystery Tour.

By Du Be Ous

Yes Man on a Bicycle there is just so much potential for this to be a good thing all round – and especially to benefit these young adults. It is a beautiful spot where it is and hopefully it will be great for the community and visitors alike. As this is so ‘untapped’ re the tourist possibilities at the moment! Instead you just see all nationalities aimlessly wandering up and down Beaconsfield Road. Some of them are at the wrong gates taking pictures of what just look like house gates. The amount of times I have given people directions. They must think really is this it? Hope the café is good as looking forward to popping over for breakfast etc. As I too am not far away. And they would do well with souvenirs.

By Mary Smiley

Well dooby bus – the bus companies and fab four are contributing to the economy you are right. I will let you have that. But could contribute to the economy of Woolton and to the centre too seeing as they are taking people there anyway. And by blocking the road – for whatever short period you may think to suit their ‘tight schedule’ they are stopping some other form of economy succeeding whilst they slow people down who can’t bet by to where they are going, including emergency vehicles – so very selfish. So please do think of that too!

By Mary Smiley

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