Lime Street Plans Will Not
Be Called In
PLANS for the regeneration of Lime
Street will not be called in by the Government. The City council's planning
committee approved the £35m scheme by Neptune Developments to redevelop the East
Side of Lime Street, in August 2015.
It involves radically redesigned buildings, incorporating a hotel, shops,
restaurants and student accommodation to be followed by an entertainment and
media hub in the restored ABC cinema which will be a further phase on Lime
Street's West Side. It had not proved possible to save the facade of the former
Futurist cinema within the new scheme because of its poor structural condition
following deterioration over a number of years.
Because of the issue over the Futurist some heritage groups called on the
Government to hold an inquiry into the plans despite the support from the Save
The Futurist Campaign group with whom the Council and Neptune have been in
dialogue about the plans for some time.
The City council has now been told that the Secretary for State for Communities
and Local Government will not call in the decision.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said:- "I am glad that DCLG have
recognised that this sort of decision is better made locally where there is a
knowledge and understanding of the area. Lime Street is a key gateway
route in the City Centre, but it is in desperate
need of investment and upgrading. The current scheme went through a very
rigorous evaluation before being determined.
Of course, I understand the feeling about the Futurist, a building close to my
heart as I know it is to many others. Considerable efforts were made to save it
including commissioning two surveyors' reports both of which concluded that its
condition was so poor that there was simply no way it could be salvaged.
There comes a point when you have to accept the inevitable and move forward and
the Government's decision allows us to do that.
We want to get on with allowing the developers to invest in their vision and
bring Lime Street up to a much higher standard than it has been for decades and
one that is fitting for a major entry point into the City Centre."
Steve Parry, Managing Director of Neptune Developments commented:- "We are
pleased that the Government have respected a local decision made by people who
know and understand the issues and the area. Lime Street urgently needs this
project to happen and we have the investors and end-users primed and ready to
The loss of The Futurist is regrettable but committed, local campaigners
understand that the building had simply got to a point where restoration was
impossible. It's been frustrating to have London based interest groups trying to
derail the project, not least because we have demonstrated our commitment to
conservation through the energy and ingenuity that we have invested in plans for
the restoration of the landmark ABC cinema. This project and this building would
have been jeopardised had this application been called in and development
stalled for up to 2 years. This is a great result for Lime Street and