Historic Carnatic Halls could be bulldozed to make way for hundreds of homes

University of Liverpool Carnatic Hall.
University of Liverpool Carnatic Hall. -Credit:Photo by Andrew Teebay

Fresh plans have been submitted to knock down historic former university buildings for 160 new homes.

Thousands of students started life as independent adults within the walls of Carnatic Halls of Residence in Mossley Hill for more than 50 years. The site has been sitting empty since 2019 when the University of Liverpool closed its doors for the final time.

Now new proposals have been made to knock down the eye-catching buildings to make way for a housing development.

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Developer Bellway Homes is seeking to demolish the existing five vacant buildings which a planning statement described as “of very poor quality.” In its place, the company would seek to put 162 homes including a mix of five apartment blocks comprising one and two-bed apartments alongside three, four and five-bedroom houses.

The height of the buildings varies between two and three storey houses together with three and four storey apartments.

The report said: “The (existing) buildings vary in height and are predominantly concrete and brick buildings. None of the buildings on site are designated as listed buildings; however the site is located within the Mossley Hill Conservation Area.” It added how the redevelopment of the site provides “a unique opportunity to regenerate a prominent and vacant brownfield site” and the present condition is detracting from the character of the conservation area.”

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Carnatic Halls officially opened in 1964 on the site of an 18th century mansion of the same name, which was demolished the same year the university accommodation was built. The University of Liverpool closed the buildings in June 2019 as part of a decade-long residences strategy.

Along with a refurbished Greenbank Students Village, these provide more than 4,000 "high-quality accommodation spaces to offer students". Other newer additions to the university's accommodation include Vine Court and Crown Place, which opened in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

Concerns were raised about the plans last year when Bellway sought to chop down a series of trees around the boundary of the site. Under the fresh plans, a minimum of 146 off road parking spaces are to be provided for the housing element of the scheme.

In a design statement response note, Bellway said: “Bellway’s vision for the Carnatic Park is to create an exemplar residential development in the heart of Mossley Hill. We recognise that this is an extremely prominent and important site and that a design solution is required that goes above and beyond what could be perceived as a typical volume housebuilder development.

“However, we are confident that the revised proposals have responded positively to all of the reasonable and coherent feedback received and achieve an even better design outcome for the site.”

A date has yet to be confirmed for the proposals to be considered by Liverpool Council.

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