The former Clegg's Felt Factory
(originally Gateacre Brewery)
Gateacre Brow, Liverpool

February 2006

The Gateacre Society's objection letter

Date: 27 February 2006
To: Mrs C Maher
Regeneration, Planning and Building Control
Liverpool City Council
Municipal Buildings
Dale Street, Liverpool L2 2DH

Dear Mrs Maher,

Application Nos 06F/0294, 06C/0291 & 06L/0298

Thank you for your letters dated 7th February 2006 inviting the Gateacre Society's comments on the above applications for Planning Permission, Conservation Area Consent and Listed Building Consent. The Society's Executive Committee discussed the matter at its meeting on 21st February. In studying the submitted drawings, we had particular regard to our comments on the previous applications (05/0664, etc., later withdrawn by the applicant) as submitted to Ms C Bates by email on 16th May 2005. Many of the points we made then remain relevant, though we note that several modifications have been made to the plans - presumably in the light of criticism from ourselves and others.

The comments of the Gateacre Society's Executive Committee on the current applications are as follows:

1. We welcome the proposal to retain the fabric of the old Gateacre Brewery (Listed) which has stood at the heart of the village since about 1867. Built as a brewhouse and malthouse by the Fleetwood family - who had been brewing in Gateacre since before 1840 - and later owned by Messrs Gregory, it retains its original 'country brewery' character in spite of subsequent conversion (in the 1920s, we believe) to a Felt and Flock Factory by Messrs Arthur Clegg & Son.

2. We have no objection to the demolition of the portal-framed factory buildings at the rear of the site. We would, however, suggest that a basic archaeological survey is carried out within the section nearest to the old brewhouse, to record and explain the sandstone walls which lie embedded within the more modern structure.

3. We welcome the refurbishment of the former manager's house (Listed) at 42 Gateacre Brow, and the creation of a garden in place of the modern additions on its south side.

4. We welcome the proposal for residential conversion of the old Brewery building and residential development on the site of the portal-framed Felt Factory 'sheds'. The industrial operations here, prior to the factory's closure in 2003, were a source of noise and vibration nuisance to nearby residents and we would not wish to see similar activities reintroduced.

5. We have no objection to the removal of the sections of more modern brickwork on the west elevation of the Brewery building, or to the architectural treatment which is proposed for this elevation including the insertion of a glazed staircase tower.

6. We feel that the materials chosen for the elevations of new Apartment Blocks 1, 2 and 3 - sandstone, glass and oak - are a great improvement on the 'stacked slate' and steel mesh previously proposed. However, we object to the rusty steel (Cor-ten) slabs which are proposed for some of the staircase walls and window surrounds and which we feel will give the building an unnecessarily 'industrial' character, and will potentially cause unsightly staining of adjacent surfaces. We also believe that copper and zinc would be inappropriate roofing materials, in a Conservation Area where virtually all of the existing roofs - including that of the original Brewery building - are of natural slate.

continued . . .

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