Popular Liverpool music venue Meraki ‘under threat’ from proposed development

A planning application for 216 new homes to be built near Meraki has been submitted.

The future of an independent music venue is “under serious threat” by a proposed flats development.

George Griffin, operator of Meraki on Dickson Street, has launched a campaign to protect the North Liverpool location amid fears it could close should a plan to renovate a Grade II listed building be given the go-ahead.

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A planning and listed building consent application is being prepared for the Bonded Tea Warehouse on Great Howard Street by ELG Planning on behalf of County Durham-based property firm Mandale Homes.

The application seeks to create 216 new homes near to the music venue, consisting of 149 one-bed apartments, 57 two-bed apartments and 10 two-bed duplex apartments.

Online campaign launched to protect the venue

Mr Griffin, who has run Meraki for more than five years, has launched an online campaign in a bid to preserve the location’s future.

He said: “If this goes ahead, it will mean we have to close because we’ll get noise complaints.

“I wasn’t shocked, it was just a matter of time before someone applied to go there, it was always going to be the case.”

Mr Griffin said he was concerned the Agent of Change principle -which ensures developers of new residential schemes around existing music and culture venues are responsible for negating noise issues – could be disregarded.

The policy was adopted by Liverpool Council in 2019.

He said: “We’re not saying stop investing in the city, the development just needs to consider existing businesses in the area like us.

“We are where we are because we’re a live underground music venue.

“We’re in the southernmost point of North Liverpool, rather than places like Seel Street or Concert Square.

“It’s for the love of music and culture.”

Mr Griffin has launched a campaign on Instagram to save Meraki which has already garnered more than 2,500 likes.

He wrote that the “culture we’ve all come to love and cherish is likely to be no more” if the development was to be approved on Great Howard Street owing to changes needed to the business.

He said without “making a stand to the developers” that “Meraki’s survival is under serious threat.”

A draft letter of objection has been uploaded on Meraki’s website for residents to share, calling for the venue to be able to work alongside developers to find a suitable solution for both sides.

Those wishing to give feedback to ELG Planning on the proposed development can do so until Monday March 7 via email, in writing or social media.

ELG Planning has been approached for a response.