Angry residents call boutique hotel plan preposterous

The Liverpool developer behind the transformation of the White Star headquarters and Millennium House into hotels, has set its sights on a terraced house in the city’s Hope Street for its latest venture.

Lawrence Kenwright's Signature Living has unveiled plans to convert the Grade II listed 37 Hope Street into a 14-bedroom “boutique hotel” with a basement bar and restaurant.

The building, which stands in the middle of a row of Georgian houses, was last used as a yoga centre and offices. The project proposes the demolition of a rear warehouse and the building of a two-storey extension to the main house.

If approved, the scheme would see eight en-suite bedrooms in the main house, which covers five floors from basement to roof space. A further three bedrooms will be built in the rear yard extension.

Prime position: The house on Hope Street used to be the Liverpool Yoga Centre

Signature Living, in its application, says a boutique hotel in the building would complement other establishments in the so called Georgian quarter as well as adding to the city’s smaller boutique “offer”.

The company also says the proposal accords with the city’s development plan.

But already the project has come under attack from the Rodney Street Association and Canning Neighbourhood Forum, with a number of families living in the terraced row also objecting to the scheme.

Neighbours: Signature Living says the hotel, bar and restaurant will complement existing establishments in the Georgian Quarter

Dr Emlyn Williams, chairman of the Rodney Street Association, said: “We strongly object to a hotel proposal in the middle of what is essentially a residential row of houses. The application for a hotel in this location is preposterous. It totally ignores the city council’s approved development strategy for the locality which aims to ensure properties suitable for family occupation are retained and used for that purpose.

“In our view 37 Hope Street has been and should again become a family house in a conservation area which has become increasingly family friendly.”

Robin Riley, chairman of the Love Canning Business Neighbourhood Forum also called for the project to be rejected.

He said: “The forum has no objection to boutique hotels when they are properly presented and supervised, but we consider this application at this address inappropriate.”

No date has yet been set when the Hope Street application will be considered, but people have until October 19 to comment on the application.

Signature Living’s rooftop conversion at the one-time Millennium House, now the Shankly Hotel, attracted widespread criticism in the summer when it was described as a carbuncle on the city’s skyline.

Read: Shankly Hotel roof extension 'a lumpen, thuggish carbuncle'