Quirky 4-star boutique hotel approved for historic Liverpool court house - with chance to stay in cells

The former magistrates’ court was used for hearings until 2015, however, it has since been vacant.
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Plans to transform Liverpool's former magistrates court into a four-star boutique hotel have been approved. The Grade II listed building on the corner of Dale Street and Hatton Garden spans five floors and dates back to 1855, when the courthouse was built, and includes an old fire station, built in 1897. The magistrates’ court was used for hearings until 2015, however, it has since been vacant. Now, Liverpool City Council's planning department has approved proposals to breathe new life into the building.

Under the plans submitted by VSHF Developments, 91 bedrooms will be created, alongside a new build element containing 20-bedrooms with extra features such as a garden lounge, residents gym and sauna. Luxury suites will be available in the old magistrates’ and judges’ offices and the former cells will be converted into bespoke themed short stay rooms. A public bar and restaurant will front on to Dale Street and a series of function rooms will utilise the courtrooms on the first floor. 

How the cell could look under new designs. Image: LDRSHow the cell could look under new designs. Image: LDRS
How the cell could look under new designs. Image: LDRS
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Court two, which is considered of high importance, will be retained as is, with the design and access statement adding: “Interesting uses will need to be found in order for the room to be of a useful nature to the hotel."

The plans include partial demolition of “unsympathetic additions to the listed building” with the applicant stating this would “facilitate the proposed change of use and to improve the appreciation of the more significant parts of the listed building."

The proposals were warmly received by members of the committee on Tuesday morning (March 12) with Cllr Pat Moloney stating: “I welcome this development bringing back into use a historic and architecturally beautiful building.

Former Liverpool Magistrates’ Court. Photo: Rodhullandemu, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia CommonsFormer Liverpool Magistrates’ Court. Photo: Rodhullandemu, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Former Liverpool Magistrates’ Court. Photo: Rodhullandemu, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Cllr Joe Hanson added: “I walked up Dale Street most days and feel sadness at the building being left there like that. It’s something Liverpool needs.”

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Former deputy Mayor, Cllr Jane Corbett, said: “This will make a big difference to Dale Street, increase footfall and help other businesses and bring an old building back to life.” Cllr Tricia O’Brien went further on the theme of development, adding: “We’ve assented plans at this building before and it didn’t get built. This will regenerate Dale Street.”