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Green light expected on Shakespeare North and Kirkby town centre

Plans for the 350-seat Shakespeare North Playhouse and a new 27-bedroom hotel in Prescot could move forward today (9 November).

Both projects in the area are recommended for approval at Knowsley Council’s planning committee meeting.

Shakespeare North was previously given the green light in April 2016, however a decision is now due on an amended design and layout of the building, which would also incorporate an exhibition space, café/bar, external performance space and teaching facilities.

Changes include the removal of the basement from the proposed development and an increase in the maximum height of the building to 20 metres, the relocation of the service area and amendments to the elevation treatments and glazing design.

A report to be considered by the planning committee says: “Since the previous approval, several site investigations have been carried out which have demonstrated that the excavation of a basement is no longer viable.

“This added site constraint is the primary factor which has resulted in a need to increase the height in the building by up to 6 metres in parts.”

Meanwhile a proposed five-storey hotel could be built on the site of the former Imperial Hotel on Bridge Road and Station Road Boulevard in the town, and would also incorporate a pub/restaurant and function suite as well as car parking.

According to a planning document: “The proposal will present a high quality and distinctive building at a key gateway to Prescot Town Centre and would remove a local eyesore.”

Elsewhere in the borough the meeting could also bring progress for St. Modwen’s Kirkby town centre regeneration as a mixed-use development of the new Morrisons supermarket alongside non-food retail shops, food and drink and leisure space, a petrol station and car parking is recommended to be given the green light.