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Go-ahead recommended for Ropewalks development despite objections

Plans for a mixed-use development in Liverpool’s Ropewalks Square have been recommended for approval despite objections from arts centre FACT.

A four-storey building has been proposed for land next to Bold Street’s Love Thy Neighbour café, which was previously home to a fruit and vegetable market.

The square, which is located between Bold Street and Wood Street, faces the entrance of the well-known venue.

The scheme from applicant Glennonston Properties Ltd would include three three-bedroom apartments and a ground floor retail unit.

According to a report set to be presented to Liverpool City Council’s planning committee next week, FACT objects to the development on the grounds that it will impede pedestrian access, reduce footfall for Wood Street businesses and impact on tourist visitors to the arts centre.

Meanwhile the Ropewalks Residents Association says the scheme would bring “nothing new” to the city centre, and that the council “ought to consider purchasing the land and adding it to the rest of the square”.

How the scheme could look © Condy Lofthouse Architects

In response, the planning report adds: “The success of the square and its function as a pedestrian link must be retained.

“However it is also acknowledged that the hard surface area in question, has been occupied by other uses over the years so has not always been available for use as part of the square.

“Having looked at the site, the head of planning is satisfied that the use of the Ropewalks Square can continue to act as a successful public space and connecting link without the need to bring the area of 108 Bold Street (application site) within its realm.

“The development will contribute towards a sustainable mix of uses in an accessible location.

“It is modelled and detailed in a contemporary, yet contextual manner, which will strengthen the built form and add visual interest to the adjacent public square.”

The council’s planning committee will meet next Tuesday (17 July) at the town hall.