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Quakers question the 'Paradise' of BDP's Liverpool masterplan

The Religious Society of Friends has joined the band of Liverpoolbased organisations objecting to BDP's massive £750 million proposals for the redevelopment of the city's Paradise Street.

The denomination - otherwise known as the Quakers - is angry at proposals to knock down its main Liverpool meeting house, claiming offers of a replacement are 'not up to the job'.

It has launched a campaign to force BDP and its client, the Duke of Westminster's Grosvenor Group, to 'realign' the masterplan. And it has also appealed - together with BBC Liverpool and a regional hotel chain - against the proposed compulsory purchase orders.

If the Paradise Street scheme wins the go-ahead, it will involve the wholesale redevelopment of 17ha of city-centre land and its replacement with a massive retail, residential and commercial scheme.

But the Quakers' spokesman Roger Wilson told the AJ that the group was amazed when it was told of the plans. 'The first we knew of any of this was when the designs were published and our building was not there, ' he said. 'Not one of the 130 registered charity groups that use it was consulted.

'We are also annoyed because this would be the third time in a lifetime that the council has agreed to the demolition of our Liverpool meeting house.

'The council and Grosvenor have offered us a replacement smaller building about 100 yards away - down a side-street, opposite a yard containing bins and air-conditioning units, ' Wilson added. 'We don't feel it is comparable with what we have at the moment.

'The whole situation is so unnecessary. If only they'd consulted us and given some thought to realigning the proposals, none of this would be happening, ' he added.

BDP refused to comment while legal appeals were pending.

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