THE future of one of Liverpools most famous building appears in crisis, with tenants fearing eviction and its owners cautioned by the council for illegally removing its eight bronze entrance plaques.
Liverpool Civic Society slammed Green Propertys treatment of the Grade 2-listed India Buildings, in Water Street, as the desecration of a city jewel.
Shopkeepers based in Holts Arcade, incorporated in India Buildings, have launched an SOS campaign to save the thoroughfare from closure and conversion into building management offices.
Liverpools planning conservation officer, Chris Griffiths, visited India Buildings manager Paul Harvey to inform him it was an offence to remove the plaques from a listed building and a letter was sent to Green Property issuing a caution.
This is a criminal offence and were dealing with this in the strongest possible manner, said a council spokesman. Permission is needed for alterations and they seem to be riding roughshod over that. The next step is to see the plaques restored.
The Save Our Shops campaign wants to retain public access to the glamorous pre-war traventine marble arcade with its gilded ceiling and bronze shop fronts, which runs from Water Street to Brunswick Street.
Gill Thom, a Green Property manager, wrote to the arcades retailers saying two retail experts reviewed what could be done in the arcade.
She wrote: We didn't have any positive feedback on the arcade and its future as a retail destination. We were advised the space would be better utilised as management offices to support the building as staff would be far more accessible. We will speak to Arcade tenants in due course.
Tenants were also told that in the interim the public will soon be denied access from the Brunswick entrance.