SAVE Britain’s Heritage has lodged an appeal in the High Court in its ongoing battle against Broadway Malyan’s contentious regeneration of Liverpool’s Lime Street.
Last month, the High Court threw out the campaign group’s bid for a judicial review of Liverpool City Council’s approval for the £35million scheme backed by Neptune Developments.
The controversial project includes the demolition of a row of buildings including the former Futurist Cinema (1912) in Liverpool’s World Heritage Site (WHS) buffer zone.
At the end of last week, SAVE applied to the Court of Appeal for permission to challenge the High Court’s decision. So far, the conservation campaign group has raised £2,200 through a crowdsourcing effort aimed at raising £12,500 for legal costs.
SAVE director Clem Cecil said: ’We are heartened by the response to our fundraising appeal. It is important to remember that despite Lime Street’s present dilapidated appearance, repairing the street could lead to a significant uplift, improving the economy of the area and creating a place where people want to spend time.
‘Liverpool’s WHS is at risk due to inappropriate development, of which this is a continuation. This is something that Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and secretary of state John Whittingdale should be taking seriously.’
SAVE’s appeal is based on the grounds that there is no evidence that council planning officers considered whether the development would affect the ’outstanding universal value’ of the WHS. It also claims the council should have notified the DCMS about the plans at an early stage.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, has criticised the legal challenge as being ’based on spurious grounds’ and as a delaying tactic.
Steve Parry of Neptune Developments
’The action taken by SAVE has already impacted upon the viability of the scheme because of delay and construction cost inflation. Every delay is adding to the cost of the scheme and depriving the city of resources which could be funding much needed services. It must be absolutely clear from the Secretary of State’s refusal to call in the application, the Judge’s clear comments in the JR judgement and the refusal to grant leave to appeal, that their case is unfounded.”
’This appears to be more about publicity and arguing a principle rather than the merits of this scheme or the interests of the city and its people. They are seriously jeopardising the future of an historic Liverpool street that we are trying to save.’