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

March 2005

The Gateacre Society's objection letter

Date: 16 May 2005
To: Ms C Bates
Regeneration, Planning and Building Control
Liverpool City Council
Municipal Buildings
Dale Street, Liverpool L2 2DH

Dear Ms Bates,

Application Nos 05F/0664, 05C/0665 & 05L/0666

The Gateacre Society's Executive Committee discussed the above applications at its meeting on 10th May. To assist this discussion we had on display a set of drawings (plans, elevations and 'artist impressions') supplied by the applicant's architect. Several members of the Committee had previously toured the site in the company of the applicant and the architect, who had explained the main features of the proposal. We are very grateful to them for this co-operation, and for their encouragement of wider discussion among our members and local residents.

The comments of the Gateacre Society's Executive Committee 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 'village 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 removal of the sections of more modern brickwork on the west elevation, or to the architectural treatment which is proposed for this elevation including the insertion of a glazed staircase tower.

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 retention of the old timber gates on Gateacre Brow, which contribute to the character of the brewery complex, but we also welcome the closure of these gates to traffic bearing in mind the problems - danger to pedestrians and damage to the Green opposite - which were formerly caused by lorries leaving the premises.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. We do not approve of the choice of materials for the new Apartment Blocks 001 and 002. There is no local precedent either for 'stacked slate' walls or for screens - whether of timber slats or steel mesh - in front of building elevations. Judging by recent examples which we have seen in the city centre, timber screening would give Block 002-A a somewhat temporary appearance: quite the opposite of the solid and decorative brewery building which it would directly adjoin. Metal grilles would, in our view, give Block 002-B the appearance of a prison, and would certainly not enhance the Gateacre Village Conservation Area within which the site is located.

continued . . .

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