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Application Submitted
August 2012 / June 2013
Planning Secured
November 2012 / August 2013
Project Type

Consent for erection of mixed use retail / leisure unit on out of centre site

New concept gym and Sports Direct store on a derelict site in Liverpool.

Planning application for a 1,858sqm gym (a new concept to be potentially rolled out across the UK if successful here) as well as a 1,858sqm Sports Direct store.

Built originally for Vernons Pools in the 1920s, the site became Paradox nightclub when the firm moved to new premises in 1991. The nightclub closed in 2001 and the last element of the building, the clocktower was demolished in 2013.

Sports Direct submitted an application to redevelop it in 2007, however the permission lapsed without development commencing.

Being out of centre, we were required to provide evidence to justify the scheme against the prevailing retail policies built on the previous planning history for the site and built a bespoke case for Sports Direct and their new gym concept. This was a two stage approach with original unit (stage 1) and retail / leisure mezzanine (stage 2).

The scheme, which opened in November 2014, brought a derelict site back into use, and created major employment opportunities both during construction and since opening.

Image Copyright: The Harris Partnership
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This was a great project to work on but one that came with a set of very specific challenges. Not only was there the site’s past, which everybody was determined had to be preserved, but there was also the fact that we had to create two family homes in what is actually quite a small space. We came up with a design that filled all Nik and Jon’s wishes, a brilliantly contemporary pair of properties that also pays tribute to the story of the site and, through the use of materials, to the bigger story of Sheffield’s industrial heritage.

The 80-metre dam, which once provided power for the corn mill, has also been cleaned and restored, providing a haven for kingfishers and other wildlife.

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