New project for Audley House, Liverpool’s landmark building, submitted for council approval

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Plans to convert one of Liverpool’s landmark stores into around 200 apartments will be discussed and decided next week. (UPDATE: 21 February 2023 Council approves project)

The proposals include the proposed conversion of Audley House on London Road, used by discount retailer TJ Hughes, into a residential building with 199 apartments. The famous building was built in phases between 1889 and 1913 and has been occupied by TJ Hughes since 1927.

Plans for the conversion and extension of Audley House were first mooted last year. vision International Group Limited, which made a planning application to Liverpool City Council to develop a 199-apartment housing project, originally planned for 250 apartments.

The plans for the conversion of Audley House aim to retain the historic building’s impressive tower and façade, along with other important features, and to retain the character of the building. The latest plans show that one storey has been removed from the scheme to ensure that the existing façade detailing is more prominent.

If the proposals are approved, Audley House will be transformed into an apartment block of 129 one-bedroom and 70 two-bedroom flats, with a gym on the ground floor for residents only.

The revised plans, which include a vertical extension of one to two floors of the building, as well as a café and other facilities on the ground floor, will be discussed at a meeting of Liverpool City Council’s Planning Committee, which meets on Tuesday 21 February.

Council officers preparing the appraisal report are recommending that the plans be approved by the committee subject to a number of conditions, including the developer paying £30,000 towards an assessment of on-street parking facilities in the area.

There were two objections to the Audley House plans on the basis of concerns about the inconvenience to local residents of demolition and construction works and the exacerbation of existing litter problems.

The Fabric District Community Interest Company, which aims to promote and develop London Road and the surrounding area, said it believes the new project should be developed in a way that takes into account the essential qualities of the building.

The group believes that the ground and lower floors could be redesigned for commercial uses to serve the growing number of independent businesses in the area. It also expressed some concern about the small size of the planned flats and the views they would have.

In its assessment, the council’s planning department said: “The proposed retention of the existing building and construction of the roof extensions will benefit the vitality and liveability of this district centre. It will also contribute to the sustainable development of the area as a balanced scheme of residential and commercial units”.

“Whilst not ensuring the provision of all amenities, the proposal provides the opportunity for multiple use (residential and commercial) to include appropriately sized apartment sizes to an acceptable standard of comfort for occupants. The proposed ground floor commercial units will ensure that the commercial vitality which is important to the town centre is maintained.”

It was previously reported that TJ Hughes was looking to move to a new building closer to Liverpool city centre. The development of around 250 flats at Hughes House, adjacent to Audley House, is already underway.

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Translation: Baytu Realty

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