A REVAMP FOR BELLE VALE SHOPS
The new owners of Belle Vale Shopping Centre - the Frogmore Property Company Ltd (FREP) - have submitted a planning application to extend the shopping centre, redesign the entrance, and provide a covered walkway along the car park frontage. Their architects state that their approach has been "to create a striking and contemporary building of its time which will contrast with and enhance the surroundings, acting as a catalyst for further development".
The design of the proposed extension - which comprises three new retail units behind a curved frontage on the car park side of the building - is certainly striking, with raised, silver-coloured 'halo' features above the entrance and at the corners of the building. The proposed covered walkway will provide a direct link from the bus stops in Hedgefield Road to the shopping centre entrance, to a new circular 'public space' beyond (at the entrance to Belle Vale Park) and perhaps - at a later date, subject to Morrisons' agreement - continuing on to the supermarket entrance as well. There will be some loss of existing car parking spaces, but the developers argue that the improved facilities for bus passengers will make up for this.
When the Society's Committee commented on the original plan for a supermarket at Belle Vale - as long ago as 1999 - we argued strongly for the integration of the new store with the existing shopping centre, in terms of both car parking provision and pedestrian links. We therefore welcome the Frogmore scheme, which should make Belle Vale an even more convenient place to shop than it is at present.
The Planning Application - ref. 06F/3657 - can be inspected at the City Council's offices in Millennium House, Victoria Street, Liverpool. The official closing date for any comments is 25th January.