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Angry outbursts as Hope Street flats get go-ahead

Maghull Group student scheme a 'monstrous development'

Written by . Published on January 22nd 2013.

Angry outbursts as Hope Street flats get go-ahead

IRATE residents from the Hope Street area hurtled insults and expletives at members of the city council's planning committee this afternoon after councillors give the thumbs up to plans for more than 600 student flats. 

“Shambles” one angry man shouted accusing councillors of 's******* on local people'. 

“Have you been to Bath or other Georgian cities?” yelled another, referring to the way other places treat their historic areas. 

The tirade came as two big student flat schemes were approved by the committee after councillors toured the area to see the development sites for themselves. 

Maghull Developments and Student Castle Ltd won approval for a multi-million pound scheme on the site of the controversially demolished Josephine Butler House, at the corner of Hope Street and Myrtle Street, rising up to 10 storeys high. 

Trees A row of London Plane trees to go the same way as Josephine Butler House

The scheme will see around 340 student bedrooms and studio flats built around a public realm area. It will mean the axing of a row of London Plane trees in Hope Street and ground floor of shops, cafes and restaurants. 

In addition, Marcus Worthington Properties won approval for a scheme to redevelop Philharmonic Court between Catharine Street and Caledonia Street. 

Georgian terraces in Catharine Street, currently student flats owned by Liverpool University, will once again become private residences. But at the back of these, the existing blocks of flats will be replaced by 354 student bedrooms in a development of three, four or five storey buildings. 

The Maghull scheme was opposed by the Government's cultural agency, English Heritage, as well as the Rodney Street Association and local residents, including city councillor Janet Kent who lives in the area. 

Rodney Street Association Chairman Dr Emlyn Williams had already written to the committee expressing concern and disbelief at the scheme, in what he called one of the city's most important heritage areas, its Georgian Quarter. Describing the plans as a monstrous development, he said it had an appearance more in keeping with post-war Bucharest or Minsk rather than Liverpool's Hope Street. 

'More in keeping with post-war Bucharest or Minsk''More in keeping with post-war Bucharest or Minsk'

English Heritage said it could not support the development. The agency said it feared the scale of the scheme would create a dominant in the view between the two cathedrals. 

Cllr Kent, speaking as a local resident, described the Maghull plans as a “bleak barrack”, with no redeeming features or a wow factor. She also criticised the lack of consultation among local residents about both schemes. 

However, Planning Officer Peter Jones said he believed the project would help animate the Hope Street/Myrtle Street area. He said the planning team took a different view of the development to English Heritage. Just one councillor on the committee, Lib Dem Pat Maloney, voted against giving permission. 

Residents objecting to the nearby Philharmonic Court scheme criticised the poor quality of the proposed buildings.  

Local councillor Anna Rothery was critical of the Philharmonic Court plan also, saying it lacked imagination.

 She said: “If this street was in any other city it would be coveted.” and she warned against the 'ghettoisation' of the area. 

Cllr Rothery urged the committee to 'take a hard long look at the plan, and reconsider before setting what would be a standard.

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

Jo MeersJanuary 22nd 2013.

They look OK. What is all the fuss about? Do people want folk to go to university somewhere else? When I was a student I lived in a flat on Hope Street. Can't see a problem.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
Student GrantJanuary 25th 2013.

Don't be silly. What student would want to live anywhere without a parking space?

Move with the times, grandma!

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2013.

Grant not every student is spoilt enough to own a car

Student GrantJanuary 25th 2013.

True, only those who pronounce 'student' as "shtirdent", i.e., about 80% of them.

AnonymousFebruary 7th 2013.

Students are spoilt and well off enough to have Starbucks taking over the cafes in both universities.

Chris HockenhullJanuary 22nd 2013.

Its just the same old thing though all the time....everything has to have another bar..eating place...another fast food outlet/coffee shop attatched to it. What about affordable accomodation for people to actually put roots down and form a community there instead of a transient one that just uses the local and then moves on. Look whats happened in the Princes Ave area to see the decline with transient users all around the area

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Martin CooperJanuary 22nd 2013.

Transient users allow the Council more power to operate without considering the long-term which is a) more expensive and b) beyond their imagination and planning ability. A community makes demands of its council; transient users just want a short-term good time and ask questions that can be answered by PR departments and look no deeper. It's the new way to divide and rule!

Hope HallJanuary 25th 2013.

That's true. I've lived in the Canning Street area for decades but I had always wanted to move further in and be nearer work.
During the mid-nineteen-eighties the smell of student grant cheques caused landlords with hitherto neglected and empty floors above shops in town to turn them into student accommodation. Normal, responsible people who worked for a living and loved the area had no chance.

UrbaniteJanuary 25th 2013.

Well you don't want decent people moving in, paying full Council Tax and accruing tenants' rights do you?

They'll get in the way when Maghull wants to buy the building at a fancy price and build a car park.

AnonymousJanuary 22nd 2013.

So Tesco won after all. Bet they grab a unit on the ground floor. Still, every little helps.

AnonymousJanuary 22nd 2013.

Many people are not against the development of the Hope Street site. But this is an iconic world street and we have a low quality development, cramming as much as possible onto the site. But to be honest, we have a council who has a very cavalier attitude towards the World Heritage site, so the little old Georgian quarter in Hope Street doesn't stand a chance. I do wish we had a body in our city, with real teeth, able, willing and wanting to preserve our cultural heritage. To be frank I have little faith in our planners.

1 Response: Reply To This...
davyJanuary 25th 2013.

Amen to that, Anonymous. This development will undoubtedly ruin the iconic Hope Street quarter if it goes ahead.

Leon KayJanuary 22nd 2013.

These councillors really are a load of plebicite bastards no taste of heritage or culture.They should all be sent back to the tenement mentality from which they emerged or failing that a swamp come sewer with a fine view over the drains no ch no running water and no dogs.

Stan JeffersJanuary 22nd 2013.

It is NOT an "iconic world street". Jesus, do any of you lot ever get a train anywhere?

1 Response: Reply To This...
Hope HallJanuary 25th 2013.

Of course not ("iconic"!!!!!!!) but it did win an award recently:

Ben TJanuary 22nd 2013.

Do Maghull Developments still get invited to the city council Christmas parties?

5 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 22nd 2013.

Is it not the other way round?

Thick Councillor MeatheadJanuary 25th 2013.

If a developer such as Maghull or Peel wanted to demolish the Liverpool and Everton football stadia in order to build yet more high-rise student rookeries, unwanted office buildings and cramped, overpriced 'apartments' do you think the knuckle-dragging councillors might react differently from the way they do to threats to genuinely local assets like the Pier Head and Hope Street?

Coun. M. BecileJanuary 25th 2013.

Ahr ay but da's different, footie is der real cultcher inni' like?

Coun. C. RetinJanuary 25th 2013.

An' der Bea'les, like...

Coun. M. T. CraniumJanuary 25th 2013.


All for changeJanuary 23rd 2013.

They shouldn't have knocked down the Everyman. This is now a dead area. Maybe some life will be brought to it now.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
John BradleyJanuary 23rd 2013.

They are actually rebuilding the everyman. Though personally I though the existing building was fine. The lack critisim by the Car Park presvation society was noticable but then it was an "arts" scheme.

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2013.

The Everyman is being rebuilt and will be better than ever.
Change can be good, but speculative profiteers rarely are!

AnonymousJanuary 26th 2013.

Reason nobidy objected to the Everyman being destroyed is that they didn't let on they were doing it. Still.

Absinthe & TurksJanuary 25th 2013.

“However, Planning Officer Peter Jones said he believed the project would help animate the Hope Street/Myrtle Street area.”

‘Animate’? What is he talking about? Is there a now a shortage of large numbers of drunken students being sick in the street?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Tudor ManorhouseJanuary 25th 2013.

'Planning Officer Peter Jones' probably lives in Cheshire.

Thatched roofJanuary 25th 2013.


Absinthe & TurksJanuary 25th 2013.

It's always the same. there'll be a street doing very well on its own thankyou very much, popular, pleasant, nice mix of shops, pubs and other amenities then it gets noticed by a developer and/or the developer's henchmen in the local Council.

The City Council demolished the listed Employment Service building on Leece Street then turned both it and Hardman Street into a vomitorium streaming with urine and lager.

Now it feels the need to do the same to the much-lived Hope Street in league with Maghull, the company that destroyed Josephine Butler House

4 Responses: Reply To This...
John BradleyJanuary 25th 2013.

The council didn't demolish the employment exchange. It was done without permission.

Absinthe & TurksJanuary 25th 2013.

So I take it that the criminals were assiduously pursued and imprisoned and made restore the damage they'd done?

John BradleyJanuary 25th 2013.

It wasn't listed. Someone who was doing architecture at Liverpool Uni assures me they had a whip round and took out a contract on the person responsible.

Absinthe & TurksFebruary 4th 2013.

Wasn't Maghull reponsible for the destruction of two important (if not actually listed) Georgian houses on Seel Street in the orgy of moneygrubbing leading upo to European Capital of Culture?

SaladDazeJanuary 25th 2013.

Absinthe makes my heart grow fonder. If you want a feel of how the area was before speculators, cheap jacks and imagination-free councillors ruined an ironic whirled street, catch the dole scenes from the movie Gumshoe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srZgdloqrzE

4 Responses: Reply To This...
Rodney StreetJanuary 25th 2013.

BBC TV's 'The Liver Birds' used to look for jobs in there when it was still called a 'Labour Exchange'.

The Council sneakily removed the roof then let the weather do its worst so they could knock it down on 'safety' grounds.

They needed that land because they thought Leece Street urgently needed a bit of empty waste land with an eyesore hoarding around it for over twenty years. I presume that Peel Holdings bought it for a song off their pals in the Council and they're waiting for the land value to go up.

It had a beautiful terra cotta façade.

John BradleyJanuary 25th 2013.

Why do you say the council?

Rodney StreetJanuary 26th 2013.

Because when I complained about it to a councillor for that ward in about 1995 she didn't deny it.

John BradleyJanuary 26th 2013.

Not really the same as an admission. I 1984 it was up for sale. http://flic.kr/p/tse1a . There is mention of a plane to put a road through the site but I think that is the wrong location and that was further down at St Lukes Place next to the greek restaurant.

Mark Bowers shared this on Facebook on January 25th 2013.
AnonymousJanuary 25th 2013.

Didn't see much of the area, but Harry Cross was lookin' pretty natty on sax

Paul WardJanuary 25th 2013.

Sweet Mother Of God: where do we find these Philistines to run the council? Can't they just demolish the Liver Building and put in more unneeded flats.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
John BradleyJanuary 25th 2013.

Unneeded in your opinion. How much money are you putting behind your opinion?

AnonymousFebruary 4th 2013.

But they aren't needed. So many speculatively built city centre flats are unsold and empty because they are too expensive and cramped. Similarly most of the office accommodation is empty.

V. I. Lenin AirportFebruary 5th 2013.

Carpetbagger property companies (many from abroad) that swooped in when property prices were low in Liverpool now own most of the city centre. The rents they demand are astronomical which is why office buildings are empty and crumbling and shop units are unlet.

(Except by betting shops and payday loan sharks)

Frank McLynnJanuary 25th 2013.

Don't the people of Liverpool elect these councillors?

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleyJanuary 25th 2013.

Yes. I wouldn't say the people here are representative of the population and it wants, desires and needs.

Fran ChiseJanuary 25th 2013.

"If voting changed anything they would abolish it"

Sadly Frank, we are only allowed to vote for the thick bell-ends on the ballot papers.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
John BradleyJanuary 25th 2013.

Then why don't you stand.

Fran ChiseFebruary 4th 2013.

Politics is a dirty business.

Déjà vuJanuary 25th 2013.

The Council has just turned Dale Street from a vibrant and prosperous entertainment and commercial street to a dark, crumbling, ghost-town street filled with rotting, empty buildings in a few short years.

Their work is done.

Now they need to destroy another vibrant, prosperous, popular, flourishing, picturesque, landmark street.

Hope Street is in its sights unfortunately.

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleyJanuary 25th 2013.

How did the council do that? What entertainment was there on ale Street other then the Dandelion Strip place and the pubs that are there? What is missing is the bushiness which brought people to the work in the offices. If you went to Dale Street of a weekend in the 70s it was dead.

mickeydrippin'January 25th 2013.

It's amazing that every time a new building development is proposed for Liverpool, all those who hate modern architecture kick off on this site. Perhaps they should all get together and form a company that designs and builds in pseudo-Georgian or Victorian style or better still, stand for election to the Council, then ban all post-1930s architecture in Liverpool.

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleyJanuary 25th 2013.

When those Georgian building where built their contemporaries complained about the lack of wattle and daub.

Sir Thomas StreetJanuary 26th 2013.

It's amazing that every time someone dares say anything unflattering about an ugly, unsympathetic development the Council and its developer pals want to inflict inappropriately on some well-loved and sensitive area of the city centre, a claque of boorish bully-boys leap from the woodwork and start accusing everyone of hating modern architecture, being backward-looking and quite possibly being witch-burners.

It’s just that there are lots of places in Liverpool where development would be welcome but they are left in decline whilst popular landmarks, venerable views and delightfully ambient areas are destroyed for short-term profit by greedy developers who seem to get a macho pleasure from destroying something uniquely local and widely-admired by dropping a big, disfiguring, stinking, architectural turd right on it.

That they collect a big wad of public money for doing so is twisting the knife in the wound.

There's nothing wrong with modern architecture, but all architecture should improve its surroundings, not degrade them.

AnonymousJanuary 26th 2013.

Gentlemen, I have a solution;

Build a load of jerry built terraces
Accelerate their decay somehow so they end up falling apart and in poor condition
Add some graffitti
Get some Jairmans to bomb them a bit and finish the job off
Bulldoze the area and leave it like a wasteland

Voila - back to the good ol' days before the nasty improvement people came to town, and everyone's happy!

The glory days are restored and we don't have to put up with all the damage done to places like Albert Dock (so much better when full of mud and derelict), the Cast Iron Shore and the Pier Head - so much more attractive in the early 70's


1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleyJanuary 26th 2013.

I think it is Fockers first and then graffiti

Sir thomas streetJanuary 28th 2013.

We aren’t talking about a derelict, jerry-built terrace, we are talking about a long-established open space between Rowse’s Grade II listed Philharmonic Hall of 1933 (modern architecture) and the Grade II listed Philharmonic Dining Rooms said to be " of exceptional quality in national terms".

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 28th 2013.

If I'm not mistaken, that's a rather busy intersection of two roads, I don't see anyone speaking of that??

John BradleyJanuary 28th 2013.

A long established Car Park.

Sentimental SapJanuary 28th 2013.

Won't be long until I'm lost all the time again.

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