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Tobacco Warehouse rescue plan gets city backing

But ambitious £50m blueprint may spell end of Heritage Market

Written by . Published on December 6th 2011.


Tobacco Warehouse rescue plan gets city backing

A £50 million plan to bring historic Stanley Dock Tobacco Warehouse back into use has won backing from Liverpool City Council’s planning bosses.

But they warn the scheme could spell the end of the Sunday Heritage Market which attracts thousands of bargain hunters every weekend.

It is the world’s largest brick warehouse and has been disused for decades.

Warehouse IntThe interiorAmbitious proposals for the redevelopment of the 4.6m sq ft Grade Two listed building were recommended for approval by the council’s Planning Committee today. It means the committee is likely to give its backing to this major project.

The developers, Stanley Dock Properties Ltd, a company set up by Ireland-based Harcourt Developments, are currently involved in building the new Titanic Museum in Belfast.

The company has submitted proposals that will see a multi-use scheme for the 14-storey tobacco warehouse. This will include around 36,000 sq ft of exhibition space, over 44,000 sq ft of business space, around 11,000 sq ft of retail space and around 8,600 sq feet for cafes, restaurants and bars.

There will also be 335 individual units described as live/work units, spanning a total of over 435,000 sq ft.

The plan also includes a hidden multi-storey 576-space car park.

Tobaccoworkmen1930s Tobacco workmenThe developers have said in 2012 they will submit more plans for the redevelopment of the adjoining Hartley warehouses surrounding Stanley Dock, including commercial and hotel uses.

They also say the scheme will be arranged to ensure resident peregrine falcons can continue to live and nest in the complex, as well as a community of protected pipistrelle bats.

Planning officers say in their report the Stanley Dock complex represents one of the most important, underused heritage assets in Liverpool.

Light well

The historic significance of Stanley Dock, much still with its original architecture and artefacts, and its landmark status were major contributing factors to the inclusion of the northern docks complex within the World Heritage Site.

One of the issues for would-be developers has been reconciling the low-ceiling height of the floors 2.3 metre - with the small windows.

Dublin based architect Tim Darmody has overcome this by creating an interesting concept – a collection of 335 live/work units. A central light well would be created in the centre of the building, which would mean the exterior would look almost unchanged.

Darmody says the120 sq m units would provide genuine flexibility, designed to be capable for use for residential purposes and/or work/studio space.

Says the council planner’s report: “The design proposals for the reuse of the Tobacco Warehouse have had to overcome these barriers and create accommodation that would yield sufficient revenue to carry out the high level of renovation required.”

Tobacco-Warehouse-M8075
The report also says the redevelopment proposals for the Tobacco Warehouse do not include any provision for the Sunday Heritage Market which has operated on the site since the mid 1990s.

“The Interim Head of Planning considers it is difficult to see how the market could possibly be accommodated during the several years of development works, or how it could operate alongside a new residential environment created in the listed warehouses.”

 

27 million bricks and other nuggets....

Snapshot39Film locationWork on the Tobacco Warehouse started in 1900 and it opened in 1901. 

It was designed by Dock Engineer Mr A G Lyster and used 27 million bricks in its construction. 

Stanley Dock is the only remaining inland dock in the Liverpool system, spanning five hectares.
It has been unused as a dock warehouse since the 1980s and was specially designed as a ‘tobacco fortress’ for supplies being shipped into the UK from world tobacco plantations. 

It has been used as a film location for many productions including Sherlock Holmes and The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.

English Heritage recently placed Stanley Warehouse on its new list of the UK’s most endangered industrial buildings.

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    AnonymousDecember 14th 2011.

    This doesn't mean it will happen though, does it. Or Liverpool Waters, just a smokescreen for Peel's ambitions in Salford, so we don't say "you are taking our docks industry away. It'll never happen, but we won't be around in 60 years to say "told you so"

    1 Response: Reply To This...
    AnonymousJanuary 5th 2012.

    Loony conspiracy. Peel aren't even behind Stanley Dock, they don't own it, and you will never get large ships up the Manc canal.

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