Application was originally submitted in May but has been held up since
Sellar and Network Rail’s £1.5bn planning application to redevelop Liverpool Street station will finally be made public nearly six months after it was submitted to the City of London.
Confusion had surrounded the revamp when the application to build a 16-storey office development above the grade II*-listed former Great Eastern Hotel would see the light of day after they were sent in at the beginning of May.
Once an application is submitted, the plans are usually available for public scrutiny after they have been validated – a planning term which involves checking the application to determine whether it is complete and that the plans are in line with what had been discussed between the applicant and the council in pre-application talks.
The process normally taking a matter of days or weeks, even for major schemes, with the application then becoming publicly accessible on a planning authority’s website.
Both the City of London and planning consultant DP9 have confirmed to Building the Liverpool Street scheme has now been validated – although it is still not visible on the City’s website as the case officer looking after it is understood to have moved roles.
No reason for the delay has been given but it is unusual for a scheme to only finally be on the verge of being made public months after it was first submitted.
One source said there had been “radio silence” on the case for much of the past few months, adding the scheme appeared to have been effectively still in pre-application talks.
When the plans were submitted in May, it was immediately followed by a letter by the Victorian Society and signed by three former RIBA presidents and celebrities, including actor Stephen Fry and artist Tracey Emin, calling for Michael Gove to halt the scheme, describing it as “grossly opportunistic and wrong”.
The plans, which have been designed for Shard developer Sellar, would see £450m spent on upgrading the station to expand capacity and the demolition of parts of the station built in the 1980s in a Victorian style.
A new contemporary archway entrance would replace the demolished elements, while a large office block containing a roof terrace and swimming pool would be cantilevered over the adjoining listed hotel, now the Andaz.
Sellar chief executive James Sellar said when the plans were submitted that the scheme will “create one of the most sustainable destinations in the Square Mile”.
“Our entire approach prioritises protecting and enhancing the historic elements of both the Great Eastern Hotel and of the station itself. The original Victorian railway sheds at Liverpool Street station will not be touched but will be celebrated by opening up new views to and through them,” he added.
Firms working on the Liverpool Street deal, which has been given the codename Project Mersey, include Mace, which has been providing construction advice, cost consultant G&T and engineer WSP. Sellar has formed a joint venture for the work called Mersey 1 Ltd.