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Goodbye Gateacre Hall Hotel?

A planning application - ref. 03F/0805 - has been submitted by Bellway Homes to build 88 flats (in two 4-storey blocks) following the demolition of the Gateacre Hall Hotel in Halewood Road. Although  not a Listed Building, the Hotel is nevertheless of historic interest, incorporating as it does fragments of much older buildings - including the house known as 'The Nook'. The Society's Committee was sent a set of the architects' drawings, and discussed the proposal at its April meeting. Our views, as sent to the City Council's Planning Department, are as follows:

1. We feel that four-storey blocks are inappropriate for this site, and that the proposed total of 88 flats constitutes over-development.

2. We have no objection to the principle of flat development but would prefer to see the blocks limited to three storeys - or with dormer windows used to reduce the overall height of the buildings.

3. We welcome the proposals for landscaping the grounds, and the Management Plan for the proposed structures, landscaping and woodland areas.

4. We feel that the stone door-casing (once part of the outer wall, now incorporated within the 'Nook Bar') with a lintel bearing the date 1652 and the initials 'IW SW', should be salvaged and put on display as part of the new development.

Within two days of our letter having been sent, Bellway Homes had instructed their architects to modify the plans so as to incorporate these relics as a free-standing feature in the centre of one of the landscaped areas.

Although the official closing date for comments was 14th April, this is a major planning application and it may not be too late to make your views known. Contact Mr S. Clark of the Planning Department on 0151 233 5684 for further information, or simply write to the Development Control Division, Liverpool City Council, 2nd floor, Millennium House, 60 Victoria Street, Liverpool L1 6JF.

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