Residents fear ‘student invasion’

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Hahnemann Building on Hope Street

Hahnemann Building on Hope Street

Residents of the city’s Hope Street fear a ‘student invasion’ after plans to turn the Hahnemann Building into student accommodation were approved.

The planning committee for Liverpool City Council has approved a plan to turn the grade II listed building into student flats, despite the objections of many residents.

Gwen Backwell, who lives opposite the building, pleaded with the planning committee to reject the plans, saying : “I would look to put forward to you what it will be like having 100 students and their friends living within 10 yards from you.

“I don’t want to believe that you wish to put this nuisance on us and I would like to ask you would you want this on your doorstep.”

A spokeswoman from Save Our City Campaign said: “Liverpool is a student city and with this massive increase it’s beginning to look like an invasion.”

The plans were agreed by seven councillors at the meeting. However, Councillor Steve Radford, said that he could not ignore the social impact it will have on the street.

Originally built in 1887, the building was used as a hospital site and was previously owned by Liverpool John Moores University.

Bootle-based Maghull Developments will transform the disused-building into 100 student rooms after dropping a previous project to turn into a boutique hotel, restaurant, bar and spa. The company hopes to attract mature students and post-graduate students to the property.

Hope Street

Hope Street

Designed by Liverpool architecture firm Falconer Chester Hall, the building will feature car parking space, 24-hour security management, a façade lighting system outside, 36 cycle spaces and communal areas throughout the floors.

Mr Williams, of the Rodney Street Association, believes the building should be used for a different purpose. He said: “It needs to be used for a more sensible development that won’t harm the architecture too much, such as ten or twelve private flats.

“The lighting outside is a horrendous idea. Hope Street is a great street with amazing architecture, the street has a certain subtle uniqueness and does not need brashness.”

It is believed that regeneration of the building is to be set to begin over the next few weeks.

About Gemma Sherlock, JMU Journalism