Approval sought for £12m Fabric District residential development

Plans for Kempston Street scheme

Plans for a £12m residential scheme in Liverpool’s Fabric District have been submitted by Duke Developments, which intends to regenerate a half-acre plot.

If approved, the development on Kempston Street will deliver 70 apartments spanning two blocks. There will be 30 one-bed units, the balance made of two-bed apartments, with no studios or student homes.

The 63,600 sq ft development, designed by Liverpool-based Studio RBA, also includes a 10,000 sq ft residents’ roof garden, 4,750 sq ft of shared courtyard space, two residents’ lounges and a mix of ground floor commercial units totalling 3,615 sq ft.

A Duke Development spokesperson said: “This has been a genuinely collaborative effort with the council’s planning team, who have helped us shape a really good scheme.

“The new local plan has been key because it provided us with certainty and clarity around issues such as unit mix and space standards. It also steered us towards the local CIC’s vision for the area, which shaped our thinking around the mix and type of workspaces in the development.”

The scheme’s central location, with mainline and underground rail stations a short walk away, along with access to numerous bus routes, means the developer has opted for a car-free development, with 80 managed cycle spaces to be provided.

Adam Morgan, architect director at Studio RBA, said: “There’s a lot to this development with regards to how it responds to its context, but also in the way it embraces the standards demanded by the local plan.

“There was some caution around the plan initially, but based on recent experience working within its requirements it’s clear how it encourages a more thoughtful and aspirational approach to development. We’ve brought those learnings together into this project, providing lots of active frontage and open space.

“As important, we’ve crafted the commercial space to suit the area’s ambitions for more creative and collaborative working.

“The development links Kempston Street with Islington and connects nicely with neighbouring developments, too, rather than turning its back on them. If individual developments can be said to help build neighbourhoods, then this is just such a scheme,” added Mr Morgan.

The scheme is being funded by the developer’s private resources and will not utilise fractional selling, confirmed Duke Developments.

The spokesperson said: “We’re a long standing and highly experienced rental developer and landlord and will take a relaxed view with regards to how many units we decide to sell and how many we retain on our balance sheet for rent. Our focus is on getting the right mix of residents so that we nurture a genuine community within the building and common areas.”

In line with emerging thinking on best practice, post-Grenfell, both blocks of the development will have two staircases and all public areas will be fitted with sprinkler systems. Ten per cent of the units will be wheelchair accessible and all apartments meet national space standards.

AWK Engineers is the structural engineer for the development, with Highways Advice the transport planners.

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