Planning application approved for Theatre at Risk Southport Garrick

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council has approved the application to covert Southport Garrick, into a hotel and spa with a performance space.

Theatres Trust’s National Planning Adviser Tom Clarke comments:

"It is hugely disappointing that planning permission has been granted without taking into consideration our concerns, and those of Historic England, who also objected to the scheme. Case law is clear that where local authorities deviate from the advice of statutory consultees they must express “cogent and compelling” reasons for doing so. The decision by Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council sets out no such justification. It also appears that this development should have been referred to their Planning Committee.

"While Theatres Trust welcomes investment in Southport Garrick to bring it back into use and we do not object in principle to its alternative use as a hotel and spa, we have concerns about the impacts of the proposals on the historic building fabric and the viability of the main auditorium event space. We are exploring possible next steps in light of what may be an improper decision, but we will seek to continue to engage with the owner on their plans."

Southport Garrick was added to our Theatres at Risk Register in 2022 when it was vacated by the bingo company that had been operating it. Read the full case in our Theatres at Risk section.

Image credit: Ian Grundy