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BLUECOAT FIGHTS PLAN FOR STALLS; View of city gem will be ruined, managers claim.

Byline: LARRY NEILD

LIVERPOOL'S Bluecoat Chambers has launched a scathing attack on proposals to ``hide'' the city centre's oldest building from view.

Managers produced computer-generated photographs to show how the historic Queen Anne-style building will become a hidden gem if street trading stalls are pitched in Church Alley.

A delegation from the Bluecoat attended a meeting of Liverpool council's street trading committee to object to the scheme to relocate the stalls once they move from Church Street.

The plan will see three of the Church Street stalls switched to Church Alley alongside the Littlewoods store, as well as other sites in Parker Street and Houghton Street.

Alan Crow, who runs the bistro at the Bluecoat, produced a photograph of the alley with a range of stalls superimposed to show how the street would look if the committee gives the go-ahead.

Julie Ehlen, the Bluecoat's project director, said: ``The Bluecoat is one of the most important buildings in the city centre and we are about to spend pounds 10m on an improvement programme. We are part of the World Heritage site.

``I find it unbelievable that the council is proposing to spoil one of the most tremendous views of the building from Church Street by allowing stalls to be positioned in Church Alley. We will do everything in our power to make sure it does not happen.

``I hope that after hearing from us the committee will see common sense and scrap this idea. We do not believe we have been adequately consulted. ''

Council solicitor Graeme Creer said consultation letters had been hand-delivered to the Bluecoat about the scheme.

Criticism also came from the management of St John's Centre and the trust of the Playhouse theatre, which fears the new stalls will make it impossible for articulated vehicles to deliver scenery.

The committee will hear more representations next week from Clayton Square Shopping Centre, John Lewis and other major traders before making its decision.

Committee chairwoman Cllr Marilyn Fielding said the committee would not reopen the debate about stalls staying in Church Street.

She also said that the consultation exercise had been thorough and fair.

CAPTION(S):

HIDDEN GEM: The montage from Bluecoat Chambers managers shown to councillors
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 7, 2005
Words:367
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