The company behind Liverpool's controversial Chinatown development has liabilities of over £14m according to the latest figures.

 In the summer of 2015 businessman Peter McInnes told the ECHO that the plans would inject much needed investment  into one of Europe's oldest Chinese communities.

The council approved the scheme to build 800 homes and 200 shops, which would have created hundreds of new jobs. But the much vaunted scheme failed to materialise after a string of protracted rows and legal issues.

The site, opposite the Anglican Cathedral, was not developed and became a white elephant. There is still huge uncertainty over how much money is owed to the original investors in the scheme.

Now it has emerged that the Chinatown Development Company, who were behind the original scheme, has liabilities of £14,048, 384. The  company has assets of £7,389,512 which leaves a net deficit of £6,658,872. The liabilities are from 2015 and 2016. The latest accounts were filed on September 30.

Several legal charges have also been raised - a legal charge is normal in commercial transactions and gives an organisation that lends money the right to take someone's property if the loan in respect of that property is not repaid.

There are legal charges to Investably Limited, Francis Molloy, the Cambridge & Counties Bank Limited and Brickowner Limited. Frederick Hervey, the 8th Marquess of Bristol in a director of Brickowner.

A company called Great George Street Developments bought the China Town Development Company last year. GGSD has said it is committed to developing the site, but under a new brand name.

Last week the council approved GGSD's plans to develop the site. The latest plans promise more than 450 apartments, new public spaces and a "linear park" along Great George Street and hotel.

Neal Hunter, speaking on behalf of  Great George Street after the plans were approved, said:“Achieving planning consent is a key stage in the progress towards the realisation of our vision and we have advanced negotiations in play with a highly respected funding partner,  who is committed to being with us for the full life of this development project to deliver the entire scheme.

Great George Street Developmens' plans for the New Chinatown site

“We took over this site in February 2018. It is fair to say that it has been a challenging and complex site, with historic issues from a number of previous failed schemes, which  could have blighted this project altogether.

"We believe that actions speak louder than words and we have worked closely with the planning department at Liverpool City Council to   deliver a scheme that will create a quality neighbourhood that connects Chinatown with Ropewalks and the Baltic Triangle, to realise a vital new community, and we are committed to  see this to completion.

Read More

Regeneration in Liverpool - the ECHO investigates

“It should be mentioned that we have revised the scheme from previous approvals as we recognise the city continues to evolve at a rapid pace, and it is vital that the project is   aligned with this ever-changing landscape.”