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.