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Battle for Wolstenholme Square goes to Dale Street

Prominent politician urges planning committee to throw out redevelopment plan

Written by . Published on November 16th 2014.


Battle for Wolstenholme Square goes to Dale Street
 

A PROMINENT Liverpool councillior has enlisted in the battle to save Wolstenholme Square - following Liverpool Confidential’s exclusive disclosure that The Kazimier and Nation, home of the world famous Cream nightclub, are set to be lost forever.

The city's cabinet member for neighbourhoods, Steve Munby, has joined his two Riverside ward colleagues, plus nearby residents and venue owners to urge the rejection of a planning application. 

The joint call to action follows a meeting yesterday (Saturday) between representatives of Ropewalks Residents Association, Nation (Cream) and ward councillors.

The fight to save the square will be played out on Dale Street this Tuesday. 

The fear is if the go-ahead is given for a retail and residential scheme in the square it could spell the end of its role as a hub of Liverpool’s music and clubbing scene. An online petition against the plan has already attracted almost 8,000 at time of writing.

Img_3608The city council’s last Conservative councillor, Steve Fitzsimmons, who is the licensee of Cream said:  “Over a 100 full-time and part-time jobs in Nation are put at risk by this application.

Last week, Liverpool Confidential revealed how developer Hope Street Properties Ltd, had assembled an indicative master plan for the square and wider area which would see the disappearance of the famous nighspots.

Planning officers have recommended the go-ahead be given, but have proposed a clause that would prevent people taking up residence in the square's new flats until the nightclubs have closed for good.

Riverside Councillor Michelle Corrigan says: “Nation and Kazimier are major attractors to the city, both for visitors and students. These proposals put their future at risk. It would be an act of cultural vandalism and incredibly short sighted to allow this to go ahead!”

Chairman of Ropewalks Residents’ Association Peter Schriewersmann said: “The recommendations before the Planning Committee don’t only pose a threat to Kazimier and Cream, they put at risk the future of the Ropewalks as a mixed use area and create a dangerous precedent for the future of the city in certain aspects”.

Another Riverside councillor, Hetty Wood, said: “In their recommendations, planning officers suggest that they cannot guarantee the proposed residential accommodation in the application is adequately sound-proofed.

"Instead of proposing conditions to soundproof the residential accommodation they suggest it (the scheme) should be permitted if the adjacent clubs close down. This would be an extraordinary and dangerous precedent.”

The city council’s last Conservative councillor, Steve Fitzsimmons, who is the licensee of Cream said:  “Over a 100 full-time and part-time jobs in Nation are put at risk by this application. And that’s not counting the impact on the wider area.”

Councillor Steve Munby argued: “Three crucial issues are at stake in this decision. The future of a crucial part of Liverpool’s music scene, the broader, mixed use character of the Ropewalks and the principle that one planning application should not jeopardise or lead to a change in use for other premises without it being the subject of a planning decision.”

He added:”I hope the Planning Committee defend these three crucial points at the meeting on Tuesday.”

Cllr Munby has submitted details of his objection to a number of city ouncillors including Labour’s John McIntosh and Tony Conception who are chair and deputy chair of the planning committee. He has copied in other members of the committee.

AGAIN: THE DILEMMA OF WHO THE CITY CENTRE IS FOR

Steve MunbySteve Munby

The application brings into sharp focus the dilemma of encouraging city living, while ensuring the lucrative night time economy is allowed to operate.

 In his letter, Cllr Munby says he believes the Planning Committee should refuse this application as it stands.

“I am not opposed to many aspects of this application but it could only be considered when

a)  Adequate consultation has taken place.

b)  If and when adequate acoustic insulation and other measures are taken to render residential amenity unaffected by activities in adjacent properties (In other words soundproof the clubs).

c) The application is completely de-linked from the wider future of the area.”

Img_3604
He says as well as his objection as a ward councillor, he is also writing in his role as Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods. He says the approach adopted in the officer assessment for this application conflicts fundamentally with the ‘Good Neighbour’ principles the council has tried to create in the area between residents and commercial premises.

He says: “It cannot be acceptable to grant planning permission if the noise issues are not resolved. Members of the Planning Committee and especially those who also sit on the Licensing Committee will be familiar with objections I have made in the past over inadequate noise insulation in licensed premises in the Ropewalks area impacting negatively on residents.

“Exactly the same principles must apply to new residential accommodation. It cannot be right to permit new developments, whether residential or licensed, that affect the viability and sustainability of neighbours, whether residential or commercial.”

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

SootyNovember 16th 2014.

It seems if youre a developer in this city if you flutter a brown envelope you can get through planning. I attended once...it was a farce, a set up. They knew which way they were going to vote as theyd been told beforehand by Joe and his cronies... I hope I'm wrong in this case. Problem is you never know if the councillors are genuine or theyve been told to look like theyre on your side. We really do not need more flats in the city centre

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 16th 2014.

What a refreshing and novel point of view

John BradleyNovember 16th 2014.

I don't care whether they stay or go, but they are in an area which is underdeveloped, unless you count car parks, and from the outside both places look run down.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
Jesse DaviesNovember 16th 2014.

You should care ! Another faceless block of flats with chain retail would not be a improvement. The Kazimier and Nation do more for Liverpool than you obviously can't fathom.

Roe AlleyNovember 17th 2014.

Hey Bradders, we have a lot of underdeveloped old docks. Do you think you could suggest to your chums at Peel Holdings that they might pull their finger out and build these unwanted blocks of flats down there?

AnonymousNovember 17th 2014.

Haha Liverpool Shanghai Waters. Getting Liverpool ready for the 25th Century

John BradleyNovember 18th 2014.

Hey Roe Alley why don't you suggest your entrepreneurial club geniuses to move to the Warehouses and do their magic thang.

Town BoyNovember 17th 2014.

The whole point of living in cities is to be near amenities: be they specialist and upmarket shops, cultural centres like concert halls and theatres, specialist services etc. Knocking them all down or turning them int

1 Response: Reply To This...
Town BoyNovember 17th 2014.

Eh up! The website crashed when I was posting that - I'll have another go!

Town BoyNovember 17th 2014.

The whole point of living in cities is to be near amenities, be they specialist and upmarket shops, cultural centres like concert halls and theatres, specialist services etc. Knocking them all down or turning them into ugly blocks of flats whose only purpose is to raise big money for distant landlords will kill the city. These developments have no amenity value to the environment and add nothing apart from a vacuum. It’s as if whole streets have been boarded up.

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

Thank you, Town Boy.

Bill MajorNovember 17th 2014.

Has anybody looked at the costs of student grants & fees recently? Anybody looked at the cost of fees for overseas students recently? Anyone looked at todays economic situation (17th November), the world is going into recession, Chinese students make up 25% of Liverpool students,the Chinese economy is coming to a halt. Are all of the existing student flats filled?

Nadyia LenninNovember 18th 2014.

We need music venues not more flats with bras flapping in the wind !!!

Steve FaragherNovember 18th 2014.

Praise the Lord, Councillors standing up against greedy narrow minded developers, all we need now is for them to realise building on Parks and Green Spaces is wrong too, if Cream does get knocked down then maybe in cavern like gesture we can build a replica.....whipped cream, Its always good to see a councillor laughing, is it at us or with us.....

Steve FaragherNovember 18th 2014.

is this People power cause that doesnt work in this city allegedly

Philip CoppellNovember 18th 2014.

Bully boy Anderson supports these developments as he gets his hands on more Council Tax which then gets pored into a black hole.

1 Response: Reply To This...
ClearasilNovember 18th 2014.

Don't you mean pored into a black head?

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