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Liverpool’s planning committee to rule on RCP’s new £35m base

Liverpool’s planning committee will decide next week whether to approve proposals for the Royal College of Physicians’ (RPC) new £35 million base in the city.

The 15-storey office building is envisaged as the heart of Knowledge Quarter Liverpool’s (KQ Liverpool) Paddington Village district.

The new centre will focus on medical training, examination, conferencing, quality improvement and research and is set to create 100 new jobs.

Liverpool was chosen to become the RPC’s first centre of excellence in 2016, in a deal hailed as reminiscent of the beginnings of the Liverpool ONE retail development.

The RCP is halfway through its two-phase move to the city, setting up a temporary home on two floors of the University of Liverpool-owned William Henry Duncan Building last year.

The purpose-built permanent building would provide a place for collaborative work amongst RCP fellows and members from across the North as it features large, open air spaces and flexible floorplates.

A report recommending the 160,000 sq ft development for approval will be presented to Liverpool City Council’s planning committee on Tuesday 7 August.

Illustrative masterplan of Paddington Village

Concerns had been raised by Historic England that the proposed development on Plot 3 of the Paddington Village site, bounded by Grove Street, would disrupt views of the Metropolitan Cathedral.

The report reads: “The current proposal would weaken the dominance of the Metropolitan Cathedral within this key view, disrupting the clean lines and distinctive profile of this iconic structure and would therefore cause a level of harm to its significance through its setting.”

In response, the planning report contends that the “wider economic, social and environmental public benefits” the scheme would deliver “outweigh the harm caused to the setting of the Metropolitan Cathedral”.

The report adds: “The proposal will result in the creation of a high quality building of contemporary design which will provide key facilities for Paddington Village, in accordance with the aspirations of the Paddington Village Spatial Regeneration Framework.”