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.


On 2nd November, the City Council granted planning permission for the 7 proposed town houses on the Michael Taylor Garage site, on the corner of Grange Lane and South Station Road. (See last Newsletter for an illustration of the approved scheme).

Also in November, revised drawings were submitted in respect of the former electricity generating station in Sandfield Road (see our January 2006
Newsletter). We had earlier supported this proposal to convert the building into 5 flats, but had expressed reservations about the south elevation which is to feature large panels of opaque glass at first-floor level. The amended plans show the area of glass slightly reduced (though not enough to satisfy our objections), an extra window to be inserted in the east elevation (which we feel will harm the character of the building) and long 'lantern' windows to be created on top of the roof (which we regard as unnecessary - and which were apparently suggested by the Council's Conservation Officer against the wishes of the owners' architect). A decision on this application is expected very shortly.

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