Planners approve TJs and Margaret Beavan projects

Retailer TJ Hughes will relocate from its current London Road home to another site in Liverpool city centre as planners approve apartments project. Tony McDonough reports

TJ Hughes
How Audley House will look following the retail to residential conversion


Council planners have given the go-ahead to a project to turn the current TJ Hughes store in Liverpool into apartments – meaning the outlet will move to another city centre site.

On Tuesday, councillors on the city’s planning committee gave the go-ahead for the conversion of Audley House in London into 199 apartments. They also gave the green light for a residential conversion of the former Margaret Beavan school in West Derby.

TJ Hughes, which faced extinction in 2011 before being rescued by current owner Anil Juneja, has been in London Road since 1912. Its relocation will be the end of an era for the business.

An adjacent former retail building, Hughes House, is already undergoing a conversion into 250 apartments. The big question now is where will TJ Hughes relocate to.

Last week LBN speculated the current home of Marks & Spencer in Church Street could be a possibility. This summer M&S will move out of the Grade II-listed Compton House, where it has been since 1930, and into the former Debenhams store in Liverpool ONE.

That departure will leave a 350,000 sq ft hole in the centre of Liverpool’s retail district. TJ Hughes could be tempted to move into at least part of the building.

In the last few days TJ Hughes chief operating officer Jason Harmer has told the Liverpool Echo tha retailer is looking at sites in a “more bustling part of the city that will attract a wealth of new customers who may never have shopped with us before”.

He added: “Any relocation would likely take several months and therefore take place in the summer of 2023.”

Hassett Homes will now press ahead with its plans for a residential project in West Derby which includes a Grade II-listed Victorian Mansion. 

Originally called Eddesbury and located in Almonds Green, the mansion was designed by Liverpool architect Francis Doyle for a family of wealthy grocers. It was completed in 1884. It later housed Margaret Beavan special school but has been empty since 2004.


Hassett Homes, Danson
Eddesbury, a Grade II-listed mansion on Almonds Green in West Derby
Hassett Homes
Image of the interior of one of the Hassett Homes dwellings in West Derby


Under the plans approved on Tuesday, Hassett will build 32 new homes in and around the mansion. They will include 11 detached houses, four semi-detached houses, three contemporary terraces, three coach houses and 11 apartments within the mansion itself.

Jamie Blennerhassett, managing director of Hassett Homes, said work would begin in spring, adding: “I’m delighted with the outcome and my thanks go to Liverpool City Council for its collaborative approach throughout.

READ MORE: Livv Housing secures £50m cash injection

“We arrived at a better scheme as a result and I know the public will be pleased with the choice of new homes they’ll now enjoy.”

The development will retain much of the estate’s parkland and mature trees, alongside its existing sandstone wall, added Mr Blennherhassett. Architect for the scheme is Drome, with Joanne McGrath of Satplan providing planning advice.

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