Mount confirms the purchase of National Express site from Anwyl

Mount Property Group is planning to start a £45m student development on the former National Express bus station in Liverpool in September after confirming its purchase of the site from Anwyl.

Place North West first revealed Mount was close to a deal with Anwyl in January this year, and the developer has now confirmed it has purchased the site on Norton Street for an undisclosed fee.

The site has planning permission for a Falconer Chester Hall-designed student scheme, which includes two blocks of 16 and 10 storeys containing 566 student beds, split between 472 clusters and 92 studio flats.

Mount is now planning to start work on the scheme in September, although a main contractor is yet to be appointed. Working under the name Natex, the project is expected to be delivered in time for the 2020/21 academic year.

A spokesperson for Mount Property Group said: “The expansion of the Knowledge Quarter is expected to be a major draw for international students with The University of Liverpool already having over 34% international students compared to a UK average of 25%. We want to offer both local and international students first class accommodation in a location ideal for them.”

The project was to be Anwyl’s first in the city after the North Wales-based contractor and housebuilder gained planning permission for the site in November 2016.

The Deeside company also has planning permission for a 21-storey, 342-home private-rented block in Pall Mall, but this is also yet to start on site.

The purchase of Natex is also Mount Property Group’s second major student scheme acquisition in recent months, having purchase a 124-bed project on Devon Street for an undisclosed price last month.

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Liverpool to look for views on blueprint for city centre growth

Upper Central – covering 56 acres in the heart of Liverpool city centre – is to be the subject of a draft masterplan to create an international standard gateway site to a £2bn flagship regeneration scheme.

Running from Central Station to Liverpool Science Park and Lime Street to Bold Street, Upper Central is seen as key to the future development of the city’s blossoming Knowledge Quarter (KQ Liverpool).

And Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet will be asked next Friday, 5 July to approve that a public consultation begins on a Spatial Regeneration Framework (SRF) to help shape the future direction of the area.

Its focus will be how Upper Central can become a magnet for digital, tech and creative sectors with the aim of providing three key goals :-

1. To maximise the opportunities of 2.5million sq.ft of new developments (larger than Liverpool ONE), with potential to create up to 7,000 new jobs.

2. A new sustainable, walkable and recognisable gateway location within the city, promoting pedestrian movement, increased dwell time and a positive first impression to millions of residents and visitors arriving into the city centre at Lime Street or Central stations.

3. To ensure high quality public realm that creates a place that is distinctly Liverpudlian and attractive to occupiers, residents and investors.

Stakeholder feedback on the draft SRF identified a need to re-brand the area. As a result a new website www.uppercentral.co.uk will be launched to coincide with the start of the public consultation.

Led by a team of independent planning experts, the draft SRF has looked at how best to redevelop the Lime Street area around the Adelphi Hotel, Central Station and Mount Pleasant whilst dovetailing Liverpool John Moores University’s Copperas Hill site, plans for the Fabric District and various private sector schemes such as Circus Liverpool at the old Lewis’s building.

To achieve this future development the draft Upper Central SRF is focused on eight key themes:

• Creation of a True Gateway for Liverpool
• Improving linkages to the rest of the city centre and pedestrian experience
• A mix of uses to create a quality of place and identity
• Striving for high quality design, appropriate massing and landmark buildings
• Provision of high-quality infrastructure
• Holistic view of development context and creating a new city district
• Preserving and enhancing heritage assets
• Delivery and collaboration

A major aspiration identified in the draft SRF is how to create a super crossing at Ranelagh Place, a new pedestrian experience along Renshaw Street and to promote a new pedestrian route to Lime Street Station from Copperas Hill to allow for improved access to the Fabric District and Paddington Village.

Liverpool City Council, which recently acquired Central Station shopping centre and is overseeing public realm proposals for St George’s Plateau, as part of the £45m city centre connectivity scheme, has also set out an ambition to redevelop the Mount Pleasant Car Park area to create an international standard gateway for the KQ Liverpool Mayoral Development Zone which currently employs 7% of the city’s workforce.

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