Plan to turn sugar merchant’s former house in Hoylake into apartments


Plans have been submitted to convert and extend a detached house adjoining the Royal Liverpool golf course in Hoylake into eight apartments.

The property, at 15 Stanley Road, was originally known as ‘Dunloch’, and was built over a century ago for Liverpool sugar merchant James Allan MacFie.

Permission was granted in 2007 for it to become a bed and breakfast, which closed down last August.

Under the proposals, the existing building would be refurbished and re-modelled inside, and two extensions built at either side to create additional accommodation. The architects say they are designed “to reflect the original form and detailing of the building”.

The development proposes six 2-bed and two 3-bed apartments, a 15 space car park including electric charging points, and storage space for 10 bikes.

However, local residents are preparing to fight the application, with one telling West Kirby Today they are “set against this proposal”.

They have drawn up a list of 13 objections ranging from its location through to over development of the site, together with concerns about the impact on the road through parking from visitors.

A letter sent to home owners, shared with West Kirby Today, states: “Recent planning decisions by the Council have seriously damaged the Conservation Area and there is an increasing trend in favour of developers to ‘exploit’ both the King’s Gap and Meols Drive Conservation Areas which are very special areas on the Wirral Peninsular.”

It adds: “The Council have duty to prevent harm to the Golf Course by preventing developers from exploiting the Conservation Area, with developments which provide no significant benefits for the local community.”

The proposal for the extended property

However, a heritage assessment compiled for the developer and submitted with the application states: “The application property was built more than a century ago for a lifestyle which no longer exists and its most recent use, as a bed and breakfast establishment, has come to an end.

“The proposal’s intention is to sympathetically adapt the building to meet modern living requirements via an apartment conversion that will secure its future along with its contribution to the conservation area.

It adds: “The proposed extensions respect the host building in terms of their scale and appearance, while the original building itself will undergo a refurbishment that will correct the unsympathetic treatment it has received in the past.

“The application will therefore have a positive effect upon the conservation area and hence is in accordance with both national guidance and the local development plan.”

It argues the proposal is similar to a scheme at 17 Stanley Road, which was granted permission in 2022 to be converted and extended into seven apartments, and was graded as more important than number 15 in an assessment of the area carried out when it became a Conservation Area in 2004.

However, local residents say it is a “landmark site” as it is the first property in “a line of character houses” and “can be viewed from all parts of the Golf Course in addition to Stanley Road”.

The rear of the property

A design and access statement submitted by Shack Architecture, states: “The sensitive design of the whole scheme will ensure that the character of this category B building is enhanced and preserved for future generations to enjoy.

“We believe that this scheme will have a positive impact on the building and the conservation area and could serve as an example of how to deal with large houses such as this as our society’s housing requirements change.

“Heritage assets such as this house deserve to be saved and schemes such as this one will allow this to happen, both practically and financially.”

The application can be viewed at

Photo credits: Garry Miller Heritage Consultancy