Buy or to Extend Your House? The Charms of Woolton, Liverpool

Magda Haener

by Magda Haener

01/11/2016, in Liverpool Blog

Liverpool has its unique architecture, from the Albert Dock to the St. John’s Bacon. Moreover, each Ward in Liverpool has it’s own style and character. This is the first in a series of posts about these unique places in Liverpool. The places that you visit and wonder:  Is it worth to buy a house here? Is Woolton the best spot for me? Is it worth to move out? Maybe a home extension is a better investment!

Woolton is located in southern Liverpool and has retained some of its village like character. It was only incorporated into the City of Liverpool in 1913. The housing is dominated by cozy semi-detached and detached houses. Red brick remains a favourite but it is common to see red and silver sandstone break up the monotony with a splash of colour. Building with stone has history in Woolton, the remnants of a sandstone quarry can still be found on Quarry Street. All stone used in the construction of the Liverpool Cathedral came from here.

Woolton is also alive with history. John Lennon grew up in Woolton and many Beatle songs are about places (like Strawberry Field) and people there.  A bit more obscure is Woolton Hall, a former country house build in the 18th century. It was renovated by the influential architect Robert Adam and is considered a prime example of his work. Sadly, there appears to be no possibility to visit but there is a shaky video tour of the inside.

The varied and historic building style of Woolton is reflected in a large number of listed buildings in the area. Especially clustered around Woolton High Street and Church Road, over a hundred buildings are Grade II listed.

The primary schools in Woolton are rated by Ofsted as good. Most of them are on the small size and not oversubscribed.

The beauty and character of Woolton comes at a price. In recent decades, house prices have risen and finding larger houses in this area is difficult. The Woolton Society has the expressed mission of maintaining high levels of planning and architecture. People looking for more space or a more suitable arrangement in Woolton are probably best served by planning an extension or reconfiguration of their house.

If you want to extend in conservation area of Woolton, the best is to draft a proposed concept layout and start to talk to the planners as soon as possible. This can establish the base ground in early stage of your project, and steer your ideas on the right tracks. Keep in mind that any development in conservation area is suppose to enhance the current architecture and preserve their features. It can be done by adding a contrasting form or by adding the form that will not overwhelm or dominate the rest of the house or the garden.

Whether it feels right or not to do a particular house extension is all up to the local Planning Officers that take care of your region. The best is to talk to them, but they need to know what is that you propose. Simple drawings for our workshop are the best starting point.