I have just copied todays piece down considering David Bartlett did the same from me.
Maghull Developments want extra time for £100m Hope Street scheme.
CONTROVERSIAL Maghull Developments has applied for more time to build a mothballed £100m scheme in Liverpool’s historic Hope Street.
The project to create more than 50 apartments, office space, a high-class mini market, restaurants and an underground car park was hit by the credit crunch.
Three sets of planning permissions for the scheme expire next year and the company wants an extension until 2014.
The project controversially involved knocking down the historic Josephine Butler House, on the junction of Hope Street and Myrtle Street.
Ahead of the first planning application in 2008, the company was accused of “hacking the front” off the historic building causing an outrage.
When the credit crunch hit, the company admitted it could not proceed with the project and knocked part of the 1867 former hospital building down to create a 14-space car park.
Critics of the scheme are calling on the council to refuse the extension.
Last night Richard Gee from Gee Squared Ltd, the planning consultant acting for the company, said: “Maghull Developments has applied to extend its planning consent for Josephine Butler House, 2 Blackburne Place and 68 Hope Street, which expires in 12 months’ time, for a further period of three years.
“The extension will allow for a market upturn before any speculative development begins.”
The company has already reconfigured part of the scheme.
Maghull refurbished the Hahnemann Building to provide short-term flexible office accommodation.
But it hopes to revert to its original plan to convert the Grade II- listed building at 58 Hope Street into a four star 50-bedroom boutique hotel with a bar, restaurant and day-spa.
The firm was forced back to the drawing board with its original plans for a larger hotel in the Hahnemann Building after the building was listed in 2008.
These plans are not part of the extension application.
Simon Taylor, member of the Rodney Street Association, who lives in nearby Canning Street is one of a number of people to lodge objections.
Deputy council leader Paul Brant and Cllr Steve Munby have also objected.
Mr Taylor said: “Given that the case was not straightforward first time round I do not think planning permission should automatically be extended.
“A re-think of the whole project is needed, it is a different climate.”
He said the plans would cramp the already busy street.
“I am also concerned the volume of cars in the area will exacerbate parking problems.”
Last year the Daily Post revealed how Liverpool John Moores University had netted £10m from the sale of buildings which form the basis of Maghull’s scheme.
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