Bid to turn hotel into student halls

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The historical Scandinavian hotel

The historical Scandinavian hotel

Liverpool’s landmark Scandinavian hotel could be turned into student halls if planners give the go-ahead.

Property group Downing is hoping to build a 241-bedroom student development in Liverpool’s Chinatown.

There were plans to create a new hotel in the unused building, which have now been abandoned.

Architects Shedkm have designed the scheme to create a mixture of studios and cluster rooms. There will also be shops on the ground floor.

This design aims to keep as much of the original structure and fabric as possible whilst incorporating new features.

The former hotel is at the junction of Duke Street, on the edge of Liverpool’s Chinatown district.

The new scheme will open up a link to Cummings Street, connecting Chinatown to the East Village complex, the wider Ropewalks area and Liverpool One.

Paul Houghton, development director at Downing, said: “As one of the UK’s most experienced developers of student housing, with projects in Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle, London and Cambridge, we are looking forward using our knowledge and expertise to bring forward another high quality student scheme, with 241 bedrooms and ground floor retail.”

Downing had previously received planning permission for a hotel in 2002, and in 2011 submitted plans to create a 180-bedroom Marriott hotel on the site, but neither scheme materialised.

However, the plans have not received universal approval from residents.

Frankie Feeny, a 52-year-old volunteer care worker who lives in the area, told JMU Journalism: “It’s a waste for it to be turned into student apartments.

“It should be turned back to the original way as it was as a hotel.

“There’s too many student accommodations round Liverpool now, it’s changed that much it’s unbelievable.

“Everywhere you go it’s not houses for people who need it, its houses for students who don’t even live in the city, who come here for a few months a year and then get off and leave the city in a state, especially on a student night out.”

But Jake Mitchell, a construction worker, said: “It doesn’t really bother me. I think it’s great.

“It’s not as if many people can afford housing round here anyway, so they might as well use it.”

This development is the latest in several new student accommodation developments across the city centre. Recently-approved plans for student halls to be built on Hope Street have faced criticism from the public because of the location.

A decision on the planning submission is expected in April.

About Sophie Marsden, JMU Journalism