Inspector rejects Liverpool ‘co-living’ scheme

Planning inspector backs decision by Liverpool councillors to refuse planning consent for a multi-million pound ‘co-living’ scheme in the city’s Baltic district. Tony McDonough reports

Baltic Triangle
Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle has become increasingly popular with young adults


A Government planning inspector has rejected an appeal by a Liverpool developer to allow a multi-million pound ‘co-living’ scheme to go ahead.

In January, councillors on Liverpool’s planning committee refused a proposal from developer Crosslane to create 236 “co-living” apartments in New Bird Street in the Baltic Triangle. It was to be located on the site of the former Bogans Carpets.

Co-living is a concept that originated in the US. It has also appeared in UK cities such as London and Manchester. The Liverpool scheme would have seen the creation of single-dwelling studio apartments with basic facilities. Added to this would be a number of communal facilities.

This development would have seen the existing building demolished and a block of up to nine storeys built in its place. As well as the apartments and communal facilities it would have also included a gym, space for cycles and ground floor commercial units.

Its aim was to provide affordable rental accommodation in an area of the city popular with students and young adults. Proposed rents were £900 to £1,100 per month. At the planning meeting in January councillors raised concerns about the affordability of the project and whether this was “student development by stealth”.

Following their unanimous refusal Crosslane, along with construction firm Wates Group and Ascot Property, appealed the decision. The inspector’s rejection of the appeal is being seen within the council as a vindication of its Local Plan, which focuses on ensuring the provision of a mix of housing.

In the report, the planning inspector acknowledged some of the positives of the scheme. He said it would generate employment in the construction phase and once it was operational. His report added it would offer tenants “the potential for social interaction”.

“Further economic benefits would arise from future residents working in the local area and consuming goods and services,” it stated.

READ MORE: Castle Street hotel will have rooftop extension

However, he expressed concern about whether or not the shared facilities would be adequate for the number of residents. He added: “With only basic kitchenettes provided in each studio there could be considerable demand for shared kitchen/amenity spaces.

“The management plan says that each kitchen would have sufficient facilities… but given the large number of people potentially sharing the facilities, it is unclear this would be sufficient.

“I note the suggestion in the management plan that the shared kitchen spaces would be bookable, which suggests that it might be necessary to manage demand.”

He went on to back up the city council’s view that the scheme would “fail to provide an appropriate mix of housing… Overall these significant deficiencies outweigh the benefits of the scheme.”

You might also like More from author

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Username field is empty.