A development firm which hopes to build controversial new student accommodation on the site of a former church near Toxteth is hoping a ‘new vision’ will be approved.

Having failed to secure support last month, a request for more than 180 student rooms and 105 flats on Falkner Street will be considered by Liverpool Council’s planning committee tomorrow. It will be the third time the local authority has heard the application, which is recommended for approval despite concerns raised by councilors about insufficient parking supply and the impact on “the residential amenity of adjacent neighboring properties and the future occupants of the development itself”.

The site, currently owned by the Elliot Group, could change hands, however, if the committee backs the plans on the third request. Legacie Developments has reached an agreement to buy the site if the proposal is accepted tomorrow morning.

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Gavin Currie, Managing Director of Legacie Developments, said: “We very much hope that the planning committee will recognize our commitment to regenerating this site and providing quality accommodation. Legacie Developments has a strong track record of working across the city and in the northwest carry out such projects.

“We have agreed a deal to buy the site, subject to receipt of planning permission, from the previous owner and have come up with a new vision. It is pleasing that the planners are recommending approval and so we hope that it will be adopted at the next Meeting.”

Alastair Shepherd, planning officer on behalf of Elliot Group, told the committee last month that the claimant was looking to sell because he had ‘no longer any interest’ in the site. Urban developers Legacie was founded in 2016 by John Morley and has since expanded to Manchester, London and Luton.

Plans for the Falkner Street land were met with stiff opposition from residents and activists from the L8 Matters Community Land Trust who made their voices heard outside City Hall with placards ahead of the committee meeting. During the meeting, the motion of the chair, Cllr Tony Concepcion, was that the recommendation be approved.

An amendment was moved by Cllr Joe Hanson, that the request be denied due to lack of parking and adverse effect on residential amenities. Consequently, it was decided that the examination of the application be postponed to allow another report to examine and formalize the grounds for refusal.

The site was said to occupy two buildings that would be demolished; a former probation center built in the 1990s and a former church built in the early 2000s, as well as surface parking. Probation center services were moved to another location as the church closed in 2014 – 12 years after it opened.

Planning approval had already been obtained at the site in December 2019, subject to the conclusion of a Section 106 agreement.

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