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Liverpool College Demolition of Victorian Villas
Historic villas halt school?s building plan
DEC 17 2008 BY MARC WADDINGTON, LIVERPOOL ECHO
A BID to build classrooms and apartment blocks at Liverpool College has been deferred over concerns about the demolition of Victorian villas on the site.
The college?s plans to see the villas knocked down and replaced with seven, four storey residential blocks with 130 flats, has raised objections from heritage campaigners.
Objectors argue that the villas should be retained, and that in the current economic climate there is a chance the apartment block would not be completed through lack of demand.
One resident against the scheme argued that the apartments? location on the Upper School site close to school buildings would make them ?attractive to paedophiles?.
But yesterday?s planning committee ruled that a decision, hailed as the private sector equivalent of the Building Schools for the Future programme, would have to be delayed until the committee could see the villas.
Architects Falconer Chester Hall said they remained positive that the plans would be given the green light.
As part of the multi-million pound project, the income from the sale of the villa site would cross-fund the building of new educational facilities, games areas, playgrounds and new pedestrian and vehicle access.
The new educational buildings, on the Lower School site, would replace three blocks built in the 1980s.
Florence Gerston, of the Save Our City campaign, said: ?We appreciate the efforts made to try to retain some of the older buildings but we are disappointed it?s proposed to demolish the 19th century houses.
?We know their original character has been largely altered, but we would have much preferred to see the adaptation of the houses?
Concerns were also raised about the need to fell 91 trees to make way for the build, but assurances were made they would be replaced.
Architect Adam Hall said: ?While it is a shame that we did not get approval we thought the issues raised were fair points.
?The buildings have been altered a lot over the years so they are not going to go back to being the residential villas that they were 100 years ago. This represents something very positive and exciting for the area.?
A site visit will be on January 6.
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As a Liverpool College old boy who left in 1978 I am appalled by the news that those wonderful old houses are to be demolished and I am sure any others on this group must feel likewise.
It was made clear several years ago that the teaching site was to be moved to the west side of North Mossley Hill Road and the existing east side would be given over to residential use.
However, I always assumed that Gladstone, Conybere, School House etc would be converted into apartments and any demolition would be confined to the school buildings which have grown up around them since WWII.
This demolition scheme sounds as bad as the suggestion made in the 1960s that all the old villas around Sefton Park would be replaced by high-rise blocks.
I thought the days of such wanton destruction were over.
The council needs to throw this scheme out now.
I must admit the comments regarding pedophiles though is the wrong one to use - part of the Bluecoat School has been given over to residential use in recent years therefore I think the objector using this line of attack needs to reconsider!
Last edited by irishseashipping.com; 12-17-2008 at 11:34 PM.
Can the council Interfere with a private school though?
I would imagine most planning applications received by the council are from private individuals or companies and a private school would be no different.
Originally Posted by Max
Last edited by irishseashipping.com; 12-17-2008 at 11:35 PM.
According to a report in this evening's Echo (January 07) the council have thrown out the proposals - thank goodness.
A bid to demolish a number of Victorian villas on the site of Liverpool College has been rejected.
Councillors refused to give the go ahead to the private school?s plan to knock down the 19th century villas, which are in the middle of a conservation area.
The College wanted permission to knock down the buildings in order for developers to build seven blocks of 130 luxury flats, which will help fund new school buildings.
It claims the plan was vital if it is to secure the money it needs to develop as an education centre in years to come.
But the city?s planning committee meeting said it would not put a ?private concern? ahead of the needs of the people of Liverpool.
The College, which was founded in 1840, is independent of the state system and charges fees of around ?8,400 a year.
Planning officers told the meeting they recommended the scheme for approval and said the fact that the luxury flats would attract outside investors to the city was a regeneration benefit in itself.
But, objecting, Greenbank Cllr Jan Clein said between the loss of the villas and trees, there would be grave consequences for the environment.
Hot on the heels of the news of the planning rejection:
LIVERPOOL?S only independent secondary school is facing a financial crisis as pupil numbers suffer a steep decline.
Mossley Hill?s ?8,500-a-year Liverpool College is facing particular problems in its Upper School which is facing an ?unsustainable financial deficit? in 2009-10caused by the drop-off in parents prepared to pay for their children?s education.
A letter sent out to parents by Principal Hans Broekman outlines a number of proposals to counteract the declining pupil numbers which will see the ratio of teachers to students drop well below 1:10 over the next year.
The independent school on Queens Drive is currently looking at restructuring options which could lead to job losses for some of its 100 employees.
Staff will be restructured to provide one teacher per 11 students with staff expected to play a role in extra-curriculum activities with pay scales changed to reflect this.
Mr Broekman needs to make the entire school smaller with 113 less pupils, over three years, than the current 533 in the Upper School.
He said: ?It?s vital for the future well-being of the school and its students that Liverpool College responds to changing circumstances and expectations responsibly and in a timely manner.
?We are well positioned financially and educationally to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future.
He added: ?Our aim is to ensure that we remain a vibrant and forward-thinking school, able to invest in our future and preserving all that is best in the school: small class sizes, a well designed curriculum and an extensive programme of extra-curricular activities.?
The school day may be changed back to a six-period day after a successful but problematic introduction of a seven-period day.
Refurbishment may also take place on site, including changing the dining room to allow it to be used for group meetings, creating a Sixth Form studies centre and putting in new projectors, white boards and flat screen televisions in all teaching rooms.
The decline in pupil numbers at the college reflects what?s happening across Merseyside?s schools.
Figures reveal the region?s schools taught 8,731 fewer pupils in 2007-08 than in 2006-07, as the rolls fell from a total of 362,493 to 353,762.
On Tuesday, city councillors rejected plans to demolish Victorian villas on the Upper School site and build seven, three and four-storey high apartment blocks with 130 flats.
The school said the total cost of the ?18.7m plans would have to be offset through the residential development to enable it to get sufficient funding.
Planning officers had recommended the plans for approval and expressed concern that if they weren?t approved, the long-term future of the city?s only independent school and associated regeneration would be jeopardised.
Long and noble history
LIVERPOOL College was founded in 1840 and opened one year later by the future prime minister William Gladstone.
The first Victorian public school, its original building was designed by Harvey Lonsdale Elmes who designed St George?s Hall.
In 1884, the Upper School moved to Lodge Lane before the school moved to its current position off Mossley Hill Road and Queens Drive in 1939.
The school?s primary objective is ?sound religion and useful learning? based on Christianity and the Church of England.
And the school?s moto is ?Non solum ingenii verum etiam virtutis? meaning ?not only the intellect but also the character?.
Double Victoria Cross winner Noel Chavasse is among its former pupils.
Armitage Robinson became Dean of Westminster and oversaw the coronations of King Edward VII and King George V.
Other notable old boys include England cricket captain, Ken Cranston, and conductor Sir Simon Rattle.
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