Homes, hotel spaces and floating restaurant before Liverpool planning committee

The Cavern Quarter

Liverpool City councillors have been recommended to approve key submissions at the planning committee next Tuesday (April 25) which will provide 64 new homes, significant student accommodation, new hotel spaces, and a floating restaurant.

Situated in Central ward, a submission has been made to build student accommodation over eight, 10, and 11 storeys.

The scheme comprises 218 studios with 10 cluster apartments, totalling 268 bedspaces together with a ground floor commercial unit.

The land, at Oldham Place in the city centre, is currently cleared.

Previous planning consents for the site include a six-storey and an eight-storey scheme for student accommodation, granted in both March 2016 and November 2018, respectively.

Planning officers say the development will enable the regeneration of a derelict site that is important to the continued redevelopment of the Oldham Street area and will contribute to the development of Liverpool’s ‘knowledge sector’ by providing modern student accommodation in close proximity to both the main university sites and key facilities and attractions of Liverpool city centre.

Permission is also being sought for the recommencement of work in the Riverside ward to provide 64 new homes.

The applicant, Torus62 Development, wants to construct a part 10-, nine- and seven-storey building to provide 64 self-contained apartments, comprising 27 one-bed and 37 two-bed units.

Work had previously begun on site in 2020, but was halted after contractor, Crossfield Construction, went into liquidation in April 2022.

The current scheme before the committee is an extension on the previous plans to build 56 apartments.

Due to the time period that has elapsed since the original report was written, the application needs to be reconsidered having regard to any changed circumstances, particularly in relation to national and local planning policy.

Planning officers say: “The scheme maximises the potential of a currently stalled site within a prominent location in the Baltic Triangle, creating a positive street frontage and taking account of the sensitivities of neighbours in its layout. The proposal is acceptable, subject to the imposition of the recommended planning conditions.”

Approval is also recommended for conversion of the former Cavern Walks shopping centre in the Cavern Quarter into a new hotel scheme, providing 150 rooms, as well as retail units.

The site was previously a shopping centre and office space on the upper floors.

The proposal is effectively a revision to a previously approved redevelopment for hotel use, with a different internal configuration.

The main changes include an increase in the number of bedrooms on site to 150 rooms from 125 rooms originally approved, minor changes to the entrance location with the main entrance now to be sited off Harrington Street, and a secondary entrance from Mathew Street, a reduction in room sizes, in terms of floor area, to the middle of the building, additional rooms within the core of the building, and the introduction of a function suite at first floor level.

The suites are a mix of sizes, ranging from six beds to one bed within each room.

Planning officers say in the report to councillors: “It is considered that the principle of hotel accommodation is acceptable in this location is acceptable.”

Plans have also been submitted for the conversion of the former decommissioned Mersey Ferry, The Royal Daffodil, to a hospitality venue, moored in Canning Dock, which is part of the Royal Albert Dock complex in the city centre.

The applicant, Liverpool City Ship, wants to create a mixed-use restaurant, bar and event space to the promenade deck and main deck, a mixed-use restaurant, bar and event space, or 13 guest accommodation rooms to the lower deck, and mixed-use restaurant, bar and event space to part of the bridge deck with the provision of a heritage museum space to the wheelhouse area of the bridge deck.

The entire vessel will be used for a mixture of uses for events such as corporate events, conferences, weddings, exhibitions, and live music events.

Three objections have been received from neighbours about possible noise problems. However, the planning officer notes to the committee say: “It is considered that the proposal, which seeks to secure the sustainable viability of an important local, maritime heritage asset is acceptable in land use terms, as it will improve the economic performance of the area by attracting tourists to the area and regenerating the waterfront, thereby, creating a vibrant and safer environment during both day and night.

“It is considered that the proposed mooring of the vessel will contribute towards a sustainable mix of uses in an accessible location, increasing activity in the area.”

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