Developer wins appeal on £15m Liverpool hotel project

Planning inspector overturns Liverpool City Council’s refusal of planning permission for £15m conversion of Grade II-listed manor house into a 66-bed hotel. Tony McDonough reports

Allerton Manor
Plans for the transformation of Allerton Manor are back on thanks to a planning inspector


Golf and leisure business Green Circle will press ahead with plans for the £15m conversion of Allerton Manor in Liverpool into a 66-bed hotel after winning a planning appeal.

In December 2022, Liverpool City Council rejected proposals for a 66-bed hotel above the current Grade II-listed manor house on the site. Councillors compared the design to Milton Keynes train station.

However, a Government planning inspector has now reversed that decision following an appeal by Green Circle. The hotel forms part of a wider project to transform the Allerton Manor Golf Course.

In refusing the planning application, the council  described the proposal as overly conspicuous and dominant. But this view was rejected by the Government Inspector, John Braithwaite.

He concluded that “the design of the proposed hotel has been carefully considered, would be entirely appropriate for its surroundings, and would be sympathetic to the character of the area”.

Allerton was formerly a municipal golf course. The site is still owned by Liverpool City Council but is run by Green Circle. It struck a similar deal with the council to run a municipal course at Kirkby, now known as Kirkby Valley.

In January 2023 the company unveiled its plans for the golf facilities which include a new 18-hole championship golf course, new clubhouse and an adventure golf attraction.

Mr Braithwaite commended the complementary impact of the modern glazed upper storey elevations with the solid stone structure of the listed building, which would remain the dominant visual feature from key views and approaches.

His positive endorsement of the building, designed by Liverpool architects Brock Carmichael, noted the complementary impact of the glazed elevations which “would reflect and enhance the wooded surroundings of the cluster of buildings”.

Stressing the urgent need to safeguard the at-risk elevations and portico, he concluded that the proposed development would not harm the historic or architectural significance of the existing building.

Green Circle’s planning consultant Richard Gee, from Roman Summer Associates, said: “This is a welcome but unsurprising decision endorsing an intelligent and sympathetic design which will be a great enhancement to its setting and the facilities at Allerton Manor.


Allerton Manor
Green Circle aims to create a new 18-hole championship golf course at Allerton Manor


“The original refusal was based very much on subjective perception rather than objective planning policy grounds.

“Green Circle brought together a highly experienced professional team to do justice to this unique site, and their approach has been completely vindicated.”

Green Circle’s investment in its Liverpool facilities also entail transformational plans for their sister course at Kirkby Valley. 

These include an improved 18-hole championship course, a new nine-hole academy course, a two-tier driving range, adventure golf course and new clubhouse facilities. This comes before Knowsley Council next month.

Green Circle’s director of golf, David Goscombe, added: “The plans for Kirkby Valley are hugely exciting and will make it the only golf destination in this part of the country that offers opportunities to play and enjoy the game of golf in all its formats.”

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