The Planning Officer's Report,
October 2001

Liverpool Urban Design and Conservation Advisory Panel (LUDCAP) at its meeting on the 12/07/2001, LUDCAP received separate presentations from architects of schemes for the redevelopment of Richmond House, Chapel Street and the St Paul's Eye Hospital site. The Panel elected to make collective comments on both schemes because they felt that due to their proximity, they share the same context and exhibit similar design shortcomings.

Both schemes occupy significant city blocks in the City Centre close to the 'Graces' though not directly fronting the river. Because of their locations, these two schemes should present a model of the quality of development to which Liverpool is entitled. The Panel felt that both schemes lacked ambition to produce the highest quality of design. Neither would achieve national or international standard. The designs are dull, short of inspiration and originality and resemble some of the discredited examples of the 1960's.

The external appearance of the building blocks is bland, utilitarian in character and gives nothing back to Liverpool for the important sites they occupy. The massing and elevations are characterised by attempts to differentiate the different functions through unimaginative use of extensive areas of system cladding materials and repetitive pattern of fenestration. They lack the richness in detail that gives buildings individuality and recognition.

Members felt that the schemes are poor on addressing the public domain and on access and permeability, particularly on the use of the internal spaces on the Richmond House site and the total disregard to the King Edward Street frontage of the former St Paul's Eye Hospital scheme.

The panel expressed concern about the inadequate parking provision being made to cater for the need of occupants of the buildings and visitors to other facilities provided on the sites.

Relevant National / UDP / SPG Planning Policies

E6 - Mixed Use development
GEN1 - Economic Regeneration
GEN5 - Liverpool City Centre
HD3 - Demolition of Listed Buildings
HD5 - Development Affecting The Setting of A Listed Building
HD17 - General Design Requirements
HD18 - Access For All
H3 - City Centre Living
T7 - Walking and Pedestrians
T8 - Traffic Management
T15 - Traffic Impact Assessment

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