A NEW multi-million pound multi-storey car park in the heart of Liverpool city centre has been given the green light. Liverpool City Council’s Planning Committee has approved the construction of the 333 space, five floor car park which will transform the current street entry level Victoria Street car park. The £6.5m scheme, which will provide 15 motorcycle and 28 cycle spaces as well as three electric vehicle charging bays, has been hailed as a catalyst for regeneration in the retail core of the city centre. Adjoining the car park will also be a three storey block designed to accommodate restaurant/bar units with a rooftop terrace – and outdoor seating due to a wider pavement area. The scheme, funded by Liverpool City Council, has been designed to reduce congestion and pollution caused by the current 121 space car park which does not publicise spaces which causes motorists to circle the site waiting for an available spot. Expected to be open by late November 2017, the new car park will also lead to the planting of 90 new trees around the Victoria Street area which will offset the loss of 38 currently on site. Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “Victoria Street is a vital artery in Liverpool’s retail core and a high quality car park will provide a huge boost for surrounding businesses such as the Metquarter. ‘’The scale of the investment and creation of a new leisure attraction will also help accelerate the regeneration that is beginning to take place there. ‘’The current car park is not fit for purpose – offering no bays for blue badge holders, cyclist or motor cyclists. Many of the bays have also been distorted by the root system of the current trees and I’m delighted this car park will pave the way for a much more extensive and much needed planting scheme in this part of the city centre.’’ To be built by contractors Willmott Dixon, with construction expected to begin by late February, the new car park will be accessed from Crosshall Street with exits on Sir Thomas Street. Both the car parks and leisure building will be clad in coursed stone with large glazed openings and the Planning Committee approved the scheme after hearing the buildings would be consistent with the pattern of enclosure that forms an important characteristic of the Castle Street conservation area. The committee also heard that Historic England, which had no objections to the proposal, recognised the redevelopment has the potential to make a positive contribution to the historic character, setting and outstanding universal value of Liverpool’s World Heritage Site. The committee also agreed that the design would achieve an appropriate sense of enclosure in keeping with the street pattern without diluting the prominence of the Grade II* Municipal Buildings, and views of its Clock Tower, which the city council has recently put up for sale. The buildings also will not overshadow apartments in the vicinity and conditions have been set that will prevent late night noise harming the amenity of local residents.