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Student tower block for Renshaw Street

Rapid paint shop to be bulldozed as planners reject 'poor design' criticism of 13-storey building

Written by . Published on November 14th 2014.

Student tower block for Renshaw Street

THE former four-storey Rapid Hardware paint store, next to Lewis’s, in Renshaw Street, is to be demolished and replaced with a 13-storey block of student flats.

The scheme, by Legacy Student Living Liverpool, will see a tower accommodating 192 units.

The first attempt at the block’s design didn't pass muster with planning officers. The revised drawing is being recommended for approval at Tuesday’s meeting of the city council’s planning committee.

"The development will add to the diversity of accommodation offer within the city and contribute towards a sustainable mix of uses in an accessible location, benefiting the local economy,” said the planners’ report.

The site was originally earmarked as a four-star hotel as part of the Central Village master plan.

Before the building was taken over by Rapid it was known as Kelly’s DIY store. It has been empty since Rapid moved to the former George Henry Lee building in Houghton Street.

There are no proposals in the scheme to create any retail or leisure space on the ground floor. Instead the main entrance to the student block will front Renshaw Street.


One local resident has raised concerns over the design of the proposals, saying they look generic and of poor quality. The unnamed resident adds that considering St George’s Hall is visible at the apex of the street a more sympathetic scheme of higher design quality should be pursued.

Luckily, the student occupants’ every food and booze need will be catered for by the proposed Lidl supermarket due to open next door in the Lewis’s building.

During pre-application discussions between the developers and council planners revisions were requested. The submitted proposal, according to the council, was effectively a slab block that was a considered a poor addition to Renshaw Street/Newington. Design meetings were held to discuss how this could be resolved.

The discussions were based on breaking the volume of the elevations to remedy what was seen as a sheer mass of facades. 



 The scheme is the latest in the redevelopment of the city’s Lewis’s area which is seeing the famous department store gradually being brought back into use.


Apart from the Lidl store in the old Lewis’s Building, Morrisons are about to open an Express supermarket in Clayton Square and Sainsburys are adding to their growing collection of city centre stores with a new shop in St John’s opposite Lime Street, formerly the popular eat-as-much-as-you-like Chinese restaurant.

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7 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

THe Leaving of LiverpoolNovember 16th 2014.

No proper town shops. No proper flats, just slum cells for students. What does Liverpool get out of this? Not as much as the absentee landlords that's for sure.

1 Response: Reply To This...
GortNovember 17th 2014.

Students don't even pay Council Tax. They can open their windows high above and piss all over us a second time!

What a dumpNovember 17th 2014.

I can remember when Renshaw Street was one of the swankiest streets in town – it had Lewis’s, it had banks, lots of specialist shops, upmarket car dealerships, The Bee, monumental pubs – it was vibrant and had four lanes of busy traffic. Now planners have turned it into a choked narrow lane lined with takeaways and parked cars that we only go to because we have to in order to get somewhere else.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Jason ButtonNovember 17th 2014.

Four lanes of traffic? Was it a Scaelextric road in them days?

AnonymousNovember 17th 2014.

Blimey, the bee, 70s biker heaven, then over the road to victor horsmans to see Germany exotica

Town BoyMarch 9th 2015.

Oh I see; the Council is offered a four-star hotel but what the developer actually intends building is a doss-house for students (or young benefit-dependent singles)? The Council might as well build a sewage works here; it would be more of an asset to the community and it couldn't look any worse.

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