Councillor Kris Brown, Liverpool's Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Housing, Neighbourhoods and Safer Communities, has called for greater council scrutiny of future big property investments following the Liverpool Echo investigation into the development of New Chinatown, Pall Mall, The Quadrant, The Paramount, Baltic House and Berry House - all of which have been referred to the police for fraud.
He is urging the Council, when it meets in September to set up the Housing Select committee to give more scrutiny and transparency to big investments in the future.
They will be asking for additions to be made to the Committee’s Job description:
The committee should review:
1. the performance of the private sector in development housing schemes using the fractional investment or more normal investment forms with a view to taking remedial action where both necessary and possible to deal with problems in this market.
2. the work of the council in aligning housing delivery targets to the targets established with the Liverpool Local Plan as adopted in January 2018.
Cllr Kris Brown, said, “The purpose of our suggestions when the council chooses to set its terms of reference for the housing select committee is not to bring politics into the debate about ‘fractional investment’ and half-built private sector sites but to ensure that the Council brings facts and figures into the public view not only about these developments but the failure of the Council to ensure that the housing that residents of the city actually need are what is built not student pods, studios and micro-flats..
We believe that these failed projects, like the New China Town development, will either never be built or if they are completed it will only be at the expanse of people from around the World whose entire investment will be lost. If they are not built the future of those sites, whether we like it or not, will depend on the Council.”