A joint venture between Merepark and Ballymore has been granted permission to convert a building next door to Liverpool’s Lewis’s building into a four-star hotel.

The 70,000 sq ft Watson building will now be expanded into the neighbouring former Rapid hardware paint shop to provide an 170,000 sq ft, 180-bedroom hotel.

Architect Woods Bagot, who designed Ballymore’s Piccadilly Tower in Manchester which was recently put on hold, is architect on the hotel.

It is understood that a hotel operator has been selected.

The hotel is a part of the joint venture’s 600,000 sq ft Central Village scheme.

Two towers, 20 and 25 storeys high, including 440 apartments, leisure facilities and shops, are planned in the £110m scheme.

The Lewis’s building also received planning consent two months ago for a £105m retail redevelopment by Merepark and Capital & Counties.