Elaine Norris Centre, Kersh Worral, c Google Earth snapshot

The site has been derelict for some time. Credit: Google Earth

Liverpool given chance to escape costly appeal 

The developer behind plans for a residential scheme in Kirkdale has said it could be willing to halt appeal proceedings if the city council conducts a site visit and approves the project, something it claims should have happened months ago. 

Kersh Worral Commercial’s application for the redevelopment of the Former Elaine Norris Centre on Vauxhall Road will go before Liverpool City Council’s planning committee again next week, more than eight months after it was deferred so a site visit could take place.

That site visit never happened and if the project is finally approved on Tuesday, the developer may consider withdrawing its appeal over the non-determination of the proposals. 

If Kersh Worral decides to go ahead with the appeal, the outcome of next week’s planning committee deliberations will be considered as part of the written representations process. 

The developer lodged plans for the project in March 2021. The scheme proposes the creation of 39 houses and 29 flats within a four-storey block. 

Liverpool City Council planning officers recommended the scheme be approved in December 2022 but the authority’s planning committee deferred a decision so that a site visit could take place. 

As well as lodging an appeal, the developer has asked for its costs to be covered by the city council. 

Kersh Worral Commercial said the delay in conducting a site visit and reporting the application back to the committee was “unacceptable, unnecessary, and unreasonable”, according to the applicant’s statement of case for the appeal. 

The city council said the delay was down to the elections that happened earlier this year. 

An excerpt from the city council’s response to the costs application states that the committee decided to defer a decision on the scheme until after the elections. 

It adds that the first planning committee date after the elections – 6 June 2023 – was not considered an appropriate meeting to determine the project. 

“It was considered that the following committee would be more appropriate for consideration of this major application,” the excerpt states. 

Since 6 June there have been three planning committee meetings on 27 June, 11 July, and 1 August. The application was not determined at any of these meetings.

DAY Architectural is leading on the scheme’s design and Broadgrove is the planning consultant.

Your Comments

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Liverpool planning department covering themselves in glory again. The friend of the developer! Not!

By Roy

Shocking, its as if they don’t want investment or ugly wasteland to provide jobs and homes. Meanwhile MCC welcome developers with open arms and benefits from millions of pounds of investment.

By GetItBuilt!

Sounds like Kersh is being pretty generous saying they’ll withdraw the appeal if the Council planning department finally does its job. Ridiculous to defer the application for 6 months in the first place, but to then say it wasn’t appropriate to take it to the first, second, third, or fourth committee after the elections is downright obnoxious. Nobody is buying that. It’s incompetence at best, and malevolence at worst.

Who decided not to take it back to any of the post-election committees? Why were the risks of deferring the decision for 6+ months not expressed to committee members (or were they?).

What’s the point in Sam Campbell and her team fighting to secure more funding for the planning department when it just gets frittered away on totally avoidable costs appeals. Someone needs to stand up to the councillors on the planning committee, or better yet – educate them on the planning system!

By Anonymous

Something very wrong with the planning department?

By Just saying

39 houses and 29 flats is considered by the planning committee to be a “major application”, god help us when something actually major does come in they’ll go into panic mode.
This all smells of deliberate obstruction involving politically motivated councillors.

By Anonymous

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