Flats at the rear of Hoylake Town Hall granted permission to be occupied before The Beacon is completed

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp

Councillors have granted permission for newly constructed flats in Hoylake to be occupied before work is completed on the long-delayed cinema and arts centre in the former Town Hall.

The 40 apartments are on the site of the former fire station behind the building, and have been built by social housing provider Torus.

They were meant to be what is known as an ‘enabling development’ to help fund refurbishment of the Town Hall, with the project also securing £3.64 million from the government’s coastal communities fund.

The decision varies the original planning conditions agreed in 2017, meaning the two elements of the scheme can be completed independently of each other, rather than in phases.

A petition raising concerns about what it would mean for the completion of the Town Hall element of the scheme had been submitted to Wirral Council’s planning committee.

The Town Hall on Market Street, with the flats to the rear

Hylgar Properties said at the end of 2021 that the majority of restoration, refurbishment and modernisation work on the building had been completed.

David Burke from the company recently told the Liverpool Post that the death of his father had left him to manage the project on his own. He said “we’re really not far away now”, adding: “I want people to understand that I’m so committed to making this work”.

Addressing Wednesday’s planning committee meeting, local councillor Andrew Gardner said there was “a great deal of disquiet” about the delays to The Beacon, and he was concerned that “we are not getting what we were promised, and now we’re having to basically get the nightmare of the flats but no cinema”.

However, both he and fellow local councillor Max Booth backed the variation, saying the alternative would be for the completed apartments to lie empty.