Mount Property Group plans to deliver 124 student beds on Devon Street in Liverpool by September 2019 after acquiring the development for an undisclosed price.

Designed by Falconer Chester Hall with Zerum as planner, the project secured planning consent in December last year, and includes 44 studio apartments and eight clusters of 10 beds each over seven floors.

The project was brought forward by Devon Street Limited, a special purpose vehicle headed up by directors Carl Falconer and Alfred Finnigan.

Currently used as a car park, work on the site on the northern edge of the city centre is due to get under way in the coming months, with Mount eyeing a completion date of September 2019 in time for the 2019/20 academic year.

It forms part of a growing student cluster in the area, neighbouring YPG’s proposals for nearly 600 student flats at Gildart Street, approved by Liverpool City Council late last year.

As well as the Devon Street project, which has been rebranded as Innovo, Mount was also understood to have an option to purchase Anwyl Construction’s £35m, 556-bed student block on Norton Street.

This scheme, rebranded earlier this year as Natex and also designed by Falconer Chester Hall, was granted planning permission in October 2016.

Mount Property also purchased a 525-home site on Regent Road in Salford, formerly owned by Vivere, the development arm of collapsed contractor Bilt Group which entered administration in 2016.

A Mount Property spokesperson said: “This is an exciting time for Liverpool Knowledge Quarter. The city centre population has doubled in the past decade, due in large part to the huge increase in its student body. Official figures published in 2016 showed that over two thirds of Liverpool’s city centre population were between the ages of 17 and 29. An enormous number of these are students.

“We are pleased to be adding energy, investment and accommodation to Liverpool’s academic hub and doing our bit to contribute to the city’s position as the fastest growing economy in the Government’s Northern Powerhouse scheme.”

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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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