Victorian Society says 19th century building is being sacrificed for car parking
Heritage group the Victorian Society has called for a last-ditch campaign to save a 19th century warehouse building in Liverpool from being turned into car parking space.
Its call comes as Liverpool city council has won a €10 million tranche of EU funding to protect and promote its World Heritage Site assets.
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service was granted permission to demolish the red-brick Bushell’s Building at the end of last year to make way for a new practice tower and car parking for its adjacent St Anne Street Fire Station, on the edge of the city centre.
The Victorian Society objected to the proposals at the time on the grounds that a practice tower could be provided elsewhere on the fire station site without the loss of a non-designated heritage asset. The Merseyside Civic Society also objected.
But members of the council’s planning committee approved the application after the authority’s interim head of planning advised them that the principle of redevelopment was acceptable and a new training tower of similar height to the existing building would not have a harmful effect on the surrounding environment.
Launching a final bid to save the Bushell’s Building, the Victorian Society said last week that the city council’s failure to protect a “treasured heritage asset” was deeply concerning.
It said positioning the proposed training tower on a different part of the site in a way that would protect the Bushell’s Building appeared to have been dismissed because “a maximum of 6 parking spaces would be lost”.
“The Bushell’s Building on the corner of Springfield and Harker Street was erected in the 1890s and served as a cork warehouse, no doubt with links to Liverpool docks, the source of 19th century Liverpool’s extraordinary prosperity and ultimately the reason for its inscription as a World Heritage Site,” it said.
“The building is constructed of high quality red brick and has a particularly attractive façade, providing a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the area.
“This proposed demolition, which has been approved by the council with conditions, is entirely unnecessary and would destroy a historically significant building which contributes to Liverpool’s World Heritage status.
“The Victorian Society urges the council and MFRS to rethink their decision and for those members of the public who oppose the demolition to voice their opposition.”
SAVE Britain’s Heritage is also supporting the campaign to stop the warehouse’s demolition.
Liverpool city council will today (Thursday) launch its plans for a creative hub in the north of the city called Ten Streets.
Italian architect Alessandra Cianchetta, a founding partner of Paris-based AWP, has been hired to draw up the plan for the 51 ha site which includes dozens of warehouses and dockside buildings that the council says are ideal to attract artistic, creative and digital businesses.
Cianchetta was previously responsible for coming up with a masterplan for the French capital’s La Défense business district.
One of the plans is to build a new music and theatre venue that will have a revolving stage.
The Ten Streets area sits between Leeds Street and the Titanic Hotel at Stanley Dock and is next door to Peel’s £5.5 billion Liverpool Waters scheme which has been masterplanned by Chapman Taylor. Streets earmarked under the plan include Oil Street, Porter Street, Cotton Street and Saltney Street.
Today’s event will be launched by city mayor Joe Anderson and Irish firm Harcourt Developments, the company behind the Titantic Quarter in Belfast.
A public consultation on the plan will be held over four days this week and next at the Titantic Hotel at Stanley Dock and the city’s Foundation for Art and Creative Technology.
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