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Writing on the wall for Kazimier and Nation

Flats and retail plans for Wolstenholme Sq - but no residents allowed until clubs have gone

Written by . Published on November 11th 2014.

Writing on the wall for Kazimier and Nation

LIVERPOOL'S Wolstenholme Square, birthplace of superclub Cream, is set for a multi-million pound redevelopment.

But the scheme wil signal the end of The Kazimier and Nation clubs.

The plans, which promise new apartments, shops and leisure facilities, will be seen by some as the further “Shoreditchification”  of a quarter of the city centre which has so far escaped the cranes.

However developers will be told that nobody can move into the flats it plans to build until the square's two nationally renowned venues, Kazimier and Nation, and other nearby nightclubs, have gone for good.

Also set to disappear in the revamp will be the graffiti-strewn Tonnage Square which forms a pedestrian link between Duke Street and Wolstenholme Square.

David Mahoney, of Hope Street Properties Ltd, will be taking the ambitious scheme before Liverpool City Council’s planning committee on Tuesday when the application will focus simply on plans for Tonnage Square as well as the adjoining buildings.

A wider, indicative master plan for the whole area surrounding the square, including Mello Mello which shut down last month, has been submitted to city planners by Hope Street Properties Ltd, based in Wavertree Road.


Next week's application, recommended for approval by planners, will see the Georgian three-storey 11-13 Wolstenholme Square converted into two retail units with 15 apartments on the upper floors. This will include the infilling of Tonnage Square with a four or five storey building fronting onto Duke Street. This filled in space will create a further two retail units and seven residential units.

Planning officers say the scheme outlined is acceptable, subject to the phased redevelopment of the nearby buildings used as clubs, and also the provision of a robust package of sound-proofing.

Wolstenholme Square, says a report to councillors, is part of the vibrant heart of the Ropewalks area. The current nightclubs and vacant buildings around it mean there is little daytime activity.

Nothing can happen with residential occupany until Nation and The Kazimier have gone, say plannersNothing can happen with residential occupany of Wolstenholme Square until Nation and The Kazimier have gone, say planners

 “The development proposal provides the opportunity to bring the former merchant houses back into use, preserving the historic character of the buildings,” says the report adding the scheme will create active frontages to both Duke Street and the square itself.

“Delivering residential development in this location does not come without its challenges given the presence of the Pleasure Rooms, Nation and Kazimier nightclubs on Wolstenholme Sq and Le Bateau and Privilege nightclubs on Duke St,” say planning officers.

They want a condition imposed on any planning approval to stipulate any residential development is not brought into occupation until Nation, Kazimier and Pleasure Rooms nightclubs have ceased to operate, whether through redevelopment, revocation of planning consents or via a unilateral undertaking by the developers.

11-13-Wolstenholme Square11-13-Wolstenholme Square

One of the challenges is to ensure increased residential schemes in the vicinity do not unduly inhibit the operations of night time venues through noise nuisance complaints.

The committee papers say the Indicative Masterplan submitted in support of the application indicates that the applicant (Hope Street Properties Ltd) either owns or has an interest in purchasing both Nation and Kazimier nightclubs which are earmarked for residential development with work to start on site by January 2017.

Planners say getting rid of the pedestrian route through Tonnage Square outweighs the anti social problems around the square, and as 11-13 Wolstenholme Square is mainly vacant apart from part use as an art studio and gallery, the scheme will help regenerate what is a problematic site.

The officers add that the "attractive and enhancing" scheme will enhance an area within the Duke Street Conservation Area and Liverpool’s World Heritage Site.

You can view the PDF of the masterplan for Wolstenholme Square HERE

Update: Battle for Wolstenholme Square backed by prominent city politiican

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

W SquareNovember 12th 2014.

Yeah well, killing the golden goose, as ever

AnonymousNovember 12th 2014.

Terrible shame. But inevitable. These places become desirable because of venues like the Kaz and the first thing they do is shut them down so all the things that made it attractive are lost. The rates will go up on Bold St, already sky high, after that and then what? Like the earlier poster said, it is killing the golden goose.

AnonymousNovember 12th 2014.

As my fellow Anon said above me, it's inevitable, but in my mind for different reasons. When you build a city's arts culture on squeezing as much free labour from people then it's only a matter of time before actual businesses with real concerns, ideas and MONEY (big part of this) start flying in. There's no real incentive for people to get behind a campaign or make any real effort to try and reverse these circumstances. When it's the same old promoters and bands getting preferential treatment (and massive overexposure), while writers, snappers and other artists get nothing they all fall away. They'll pay lip service to the idea and the people they feel they should on social media, and sign some useless petition, but they won't push it further. Why should they? Same old people cribbing off other's hard work. I love the Kaz and I'm genuinely sad to see it go, but there's no safety net for the people who keep it propped up. Let's get rid of the same names and faces and distribute things a little more clearly and fairly, before the quasi/wannabe media personalities cause a Tesco and flats to take up every street.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 12th 2014.

Hmm, no line breaks can be annoying.

Tricky WooNovember 12th 2014.

You kinda get to love them after a year or two. You perhaps have your own set of circumstances to draw on, Anon, but you say "Let's get rid of the same names and faces and distribute things a little more clearly and fairly". Absolutely, this is a free country and those with the dynamism and ideas to make things happen do just that. And if they appear to be the same old faces, doing it time and time again, you have to wonder why that appears so. Why the frame is empty of other faces. Fortune never favoured the meek. You don't have to ask permission. Find the others, as they say, and just do it.

David DaviesNovember 12th 2014.

That, Ladies and Gentlemen is bollocks. More 'Luxury' apartments to be filled with AirBnB non-tenants and pop-up brothels. Just what the city needs more of.

DeniseNovember 12th 2014.

You describe it as the “Shoreditchification” of the square. I think it is more like the ongoing sanitization of Liverpool city centre, getting rid of anything interesting and quirky. The report says the apartments are geared at young professional types. When we used to go to the square in the days of Crefam, Continental there was a real happening buzz about the place. Today's generation will think a gentrified scheme will be 'ace' and they'll never know what they have missed out on. Progress? huh, who needs it.

John BradleyNovember 12th 2014.

It doesn't mean the end of quirky Liverpool, it just means it will move. There is no lack of sites that can be quirkified, no lack of places to apply imagination.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Ethel AustinNovember 12th 2014.

At the risk of going off topic, Mr Bradley, that's a direct contradiction to what you said in another posting, when the idea of building posh houses on the empty green lands of Smithdown Road was suggested

John BradleyNovember 12th 2014.

How do you come to that rather strange conclusion?

AnonymousNovember 12th 2014.

They need to do something with the Baltic triangle. To get anywhere near there now is extortion and its all just speculative. There should be a reduction in business rates for arts related business in that area or some additional funding. If they don't do something they are just going to kill it like they killed everything else that was interesting.

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleyNovember 12th 2014.

No they shouldn't. They should move to find different areas. Try around Sandhills.

AnonymousNovember 12th 2014.

Too far out

2 Responses: Reply To This...
John BradleyNovember 12th 2014.

SHows your level of dedication.

Ethel AustinNovember 12th 2014.

I think Anonymous means "too far out" in the LSD way

AnonymousNovember 12th 2014.

No way they cannot do this. The kazimier is the best club in the uk

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

But they always do do it. The kazimier will rise again in spite of all this. Nay worry, let the bulldozers do their thing.

Cloggy PopNovember 13th 2014.

I fly over for stuff on at the Kazimier a few times a year. I will not be coming over to look at some flats.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

The people running the Kazimier or Cream or anywhere else made a decision to rent / lease not buy outright and accepted the risk that this would happen, it was their choice and their if landlords want to do something else with the property in the future then they should be free to do that. This isn't a destructive thing it is actually an opportunity for the creative who produced these venues to regenerate them with new more up to date or on trend creative ideas in new locations.

Emma BNovember 13th 2014.

Tourists and clubbers worldwide visit just to go to Cream @ Nation. Let's not repeat the mistake we made when the Cavern was demolished, only for it to be rebuilt nearby for tourists. Incidentally, I was amused by the applicant/press release using the grotty alley as justification. That was never there in Cream's heyday. It was a much vaunted "public realm work" so beloved by Cllrs Steve Munby and Nick Small. The angry man and Litte Britain of the City Council. Or rather another waste of funds in town, only to be removed later as with his pop up park.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

yeah like 3 times a year when its on not a big tourist loss and cant be compared with the cavern or the beatles.

AnonymousNovember 14th 2014.

I think the walkway was previously a cold store, and knocked through specifically to provide access to Cream. The broken car glass in the floor was added as part of one of the biennials. It's from drug related drive by's in Mexico.

AnonymousNovember 14th 2014.

I don't remember all this fuss when the Conti closed.

BoulevardierNovember 17th 2014.

It seems only five minutes ago that 'Tonnage Square' was being trumpeted by the last shower in Council control as being one of the bright new jewels of 'regeneration' of the “Ropewalks” pseudo-district ‘creative quarter’! So already they're knocking it down/filling it in. Well - it's only public money after all. It must be time to expensively re-build/re-surface Williamson Square and Bold Street yet again by now, surely?

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