A campaign to save a historic rice mill from demolition has been given a boost today with national heritage watchdogs awarding it Listed Building Status.
Heaps Rice Mill, in the Baltic Triangle, has been categorised as Grade II listed by the government following an inspection by English Heritage.
Merseyside Civic Society made the application for the building to be listed in March, prior to a planning application by Seychelles-based One Park Lane Limited to redevelop the site into apartments.
Elliot Lawless, on behalf of One Park Lane, said the firm had been discussing how the mill could be retained in its scheme, but that without a taxpayer grant it would be difficult.
He said: “Without grant there’s the risk of further decay whilst we wait to see if the market moves far enough to plug the gap.
“The figures didn’t stack up at the height of the last boom so I’m sceptical that they might this time around, if I’m honest.
“There’s a further risk that our funding partners switch their focus to schemes that can offer a more immediate return so I’ve got some work to do my end in that regard.
“They want to invest in Liverpool and like where the city’s headed so I’m hopeful we can keep them on-board.”
Peter Brown, chairman of Merseyside Civic Society, said he hoped the news will mean any future development of the site will include as much of the original mill as possible.
He said: “We’re very pleased that the process had gone through in a timely manner. Hopefully it (the building being listed) will be valuable in the case for retaining the building.
“It is an important part of the city’s history.”
One Park Lane applied in June to knock down the derelict Heaps Mill and build five blocks made up of 515 apartments.
As well as plans for five apartment blocks on the site, One Park Lane has also submitted plans to build a further 284 apartments on land next to the mill.
Earlier this month Liverpool planners decided to refuse permission to demolish the mill until proposals to redevelop the site had been granted.
Now the building has been listed One Park Lane will need to make a fresh application to demolish it.
Campaigners hope its listed status will mean it is more likely this application will be refused.
An English Heritage report said: “The building’s strong massing and huge scale have resulted in an imposing and visually prominent building that dominates Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle area.
“Heap’s Rice Mill is … not only one of the earliest, but one of the last surviving warehouse complexes in this area, serving as an important physical reminder of the area’s rich trading links and mercantile history.
“Its links to the Far East and the Burmese rice trade are of special historic interest in reflecting Liverpool’s prominence and international significance as a port in the C19.”