Friday, 1 November 2013

India Buildings-Holts Arcade. Is The Public Access To Be Restricted?

Almost a year to the day there was outrage when Green Property were cautioned for illegally damaging the façade of India Buildings.

It was splashed all over the local press.

The shopkeepers were also told that their shops were, in fact, wanted by the landlords for offices. India buildings has over two thirds of empty office space.

A thousand name petition for the SOS, Save Our Shops campaign was signed.

India Building has been a shopping arcade since the early 1930’s. It was constructed as an arcade.

A demonstration was carried out in the arcade led by the shopkeepers, who were told that Green property wanted to close off the Brunswick Street entrance.

This would bar the public from the arcade and cutting through a thoroughfare that was in fact built into the building because it was originally built over a street.

It was deemed that because of the building spanning an ancient right of way that it should remain open to the public.
Now plans have gone into the Liverpool planners to alter Holts Arcade.

They have some alarming elements of bad taste but also some infactul elements that need correcting.

It seems that access will be restricted and the public will be funnelled into a revolving door at the Water Street entrance.

Wasn’t that why the original revolving doors were removed for safety evacuation.

This will restrict access for the public.

It could also create a safety risk as if the building was full how would they all get out in the event of a fire.

The current area where the sliding doors operate work well. This area will be made into a seating area with flashing TV screens, bling, bling.

India Buildings is a magnificent edifice so why change it.

If it’s not broken…

There are plans to add some screens and block off part of the arcade.

Why would you want to do this?

The owners say there is no use for the existing empty shops. This is because they do not do anything to let them.

A year ago we are aware that prospective tenants were contacting the agents and were being told there is none available.

Have a look at the plans here.

You will need to type in the number 13L/2472, which relates to India Buildings.
You will see that there are existing floor plans and new floor plans.

It is clear from these plans that there are several infactual documents and the application from the developer cares to advise the planners instead of allowing them to decide.

If you scroll down related documents and click on design and access statement.

The plans are showing some of the shops as offices…disguised as a lounge.

They have added to the planning application that there is no use for the shops.

This is because they have never wanted to us them…… fact they wanted them as offices.

We have had sight of written correspondence from Green group to the tenants, to this effect..



None of the shopkeepers have been consulted by Green.

What the application does not show is that a further application was made by the C20 Society to upgrade the listing from Grade II to Grade II* They were so alarmed at what was being proposed by Green Property, and they thought extra protection was required. It was supported by Chris Griffiths, the Buildings at Risk officer at Liverpool City Council.

Graham Ives of EH said they would be very surprised if it was not upgraded.

This is, currently being considered by English Heritage.

In fact an announcement should be imminent.

This application was made to try to stop a landlord who obviously did not understand the local and international importance of India Buildings and wanted to close it off to the public and convert the shops to offices.

They now say they will leave the existing shops… very kind of them.
We have to be very careful as to how these new proposals affect the character and the style of A BUILDING DESIGNED BY HERBERT ROWSE.

The current listing says that Holts Arcade is also listed as a Grade II interior.

The application to upgrade it would take Holts Arcade to Grade II*.

Why has this application being considered before the listing is upgraded?

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