SAVE SEFTON PARK MEADOWS

The campaign to stop Liverpool City Council selling off the meadows of Sefton Park


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BIG THANK YOU TO SUPPORTERS, MORE SMOKE AND MIRRORS

FIRSTLY,  a HUGE THANK YOU to all our friends and supporters out there, wherever you are (Kim!), who submitted formal objections to the Redrow planning application by the deadline of 19th February. Our beautiful and unique Meadows are so grateful that we are all stepping up to the line to give them a voice, when they have none.  We know we are winning the arguments for the Meadows and Liverpool Greenspaces – the Mayor’s interference is more proof of this.    Echo News Item 21st Feb 2015

This week’s announcement from Mayor Anderson on another revised Redrow proposal cuts no ice with our campaign.  We know that one ‘ mature’ tree loss is misleading and means 22 semi mature and protected trees are still threatened, even with 20 houses. See our visual of  Redrow’s previously submitted Tree Removal Plan below.

Redrow Tree Removal Plan

Visual of current Tree Removal Plan,  to be revised to show removal of 1 Category A tree instead of 6.  Other trees still under threat.

It shows the devastation still being proposed even if one ‘mature’ tree ( called Category A High Value) is to be felled instead of six (as shown on this plan). Our campaign commitment remains for no development on this protected and valuable site.

See below  for a short campaign statement and see our latest press release on 20th Feb 22 Trees to be Removed  in response to the Mayor’s announcement.

20th February 2015

Still 22 Trees to be Felled if Redrow Plans Go Ahead on Sefton Park Meadows

The latest announcement by Mayor Joe Anderson on Redrow’s planning application for Sefton Park Meadows cuts no ice with campaigners. They are calling this ‘ further political interference in a live planning application’ and cynically timed to discourage people from making objections on the deadline day of Thurs 19th February. Anderson deliberately leaked details of Redrow’s new, but not yet public, proposal to reduce the housing number to 20 from 34, and to remove one ‘ mature’ tree instead of six. He claims this shows his personal commitment to Sefton Park with a lower housing density proposal and to saving the 27 threatened trees. Redrow have made no comment or resubmitted any revised application as yet.

The Save Sefton Park Meadows campaign are immediately hitting back, stating that the removal of one ‘mature’ tree is misleading and does not give the real picture. 22 semi mature and less mature trees are still under threat of felling on the Meadows, even with a 20 house proposal. All 88 remaining trees will be at high risk during building from construction machinery and ‘ builder mishap’ – trees being accidentally or, in some well documented incidences (the King David site on Beauclair Drive in south Liverpool), deliberately felled without permission. All of the trees on the Meadows are in the Sefton Park Conservation Area and have Tree Protection Orders (TPOs) on them.

In the council’s own Development Plan, which still governs all planning applications, it states: ‘ ..the city council will refuse planning permission for proposals which cause unacceptable tree loss, or which do not allow for the successful integration of existing trees identified for retention following consideration of the tree survey; require.. preventing all site works within the branch spread of any retained tree; and only allowing the removal of any protected tree in exceptional circumstances,such as where the tree is a danger to public safety or is disease.‘ (Unitary Development Plan HD22: Existing Trees and Landscaping).

None of the trees on the Meadows have been identified as a danger to the public or suffering terminal disease in the planning application Tree Survey. The campaign group have pledged to continue their fight to save all of the trees. They also remain committed to no housing development on the Meadows, stating their formal objections now submitted to the council’s planning department clearly show the site as in Sefton Park and protected by current planning policy as not available for development.

Latest Campaign Press Release 20/2/15  22 Trees to be Removed at Sefton Park Meadows


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Join Protest at Next Full Council Meeting

Meadows campaigners will be lobbying outside the next full Council meeting, together with other Liverpool green space campaign groups. Please come and join us!

Town Hall from 4 to 5pm

Wednesday 14 January 2015

Council meeting starts at 5pm.

This is the last full Council meeting until April and an opportunity to show the strength of feeling from all save green space campaign groups.

See you there.


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Redrow’s ‘American Pyscho’ Promo Video Causes Storm

Redrow have surpassed themselves with this one.  Their new promotional video for a swanky £4m penthouse apartment in Tower Hamlets (poorest borough in London with massive housing problems) was meant to  showcase the very pinnacle of luxury living in their new exclusive residential tower. But the video has been pulled just days after it was launched online, having been subject to an online battery of ridicule and claims that it epitomises the nightmare of London’s unjust property market.

See it here  in the article by The Guardian’s Ollie Wainwright http://gu.com/p/44jvk   and the spoof video done in response.

Are they bringing these kind of values to their ‘executive housing’ plans for Sefton Park Meadows?  £1m houses ‘secured’  behind huge gates where people aspire to be ‘ individual’ and live apart from their community?  Is this what the Mayor’s housing pledge is about?


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Chance to Quiz Joe Over Green Spaces

The Liverpool Echo describes the future of green spaces as ‘one of the biggest issues in our city’. Paddy Shennan, Echo reporter, posted an article online  and in the paper on 31st Oct , asking readers to send in questions to  Mayor Joe Anderson NOW on our concerns and issues related to their sell off for development.

The Echo has already highlighted over 30 parks, playgrounds, allotments and recreation areas listed by the council, that could be up for development.  These include the high profile sites of:

  • Sefton Park Meadows – a planning application by Redrow is due to be submitted  before Christmas.
  • Walton Hall Park – a possible site for Everton Football Club
  • Woolton Woods – a grassland and recreational area as part of a rebuild of St Julie’s Catholic High School
  • Olive Mount Playing Fields -sell off for housing
  • Calderstones Park – loss of miniature railway, Scout Hut, Harthill Allotments and green space on Menlove Avenue for housing

THIS IS A CHANCE TO TELL JOE WHAT WE THINK – AGAIN!

We expect Joe to reply – again- that Liverpool is in deep financial trouble; that he needs higher council tax band revenues; that it’s not his fault; that we have ‘too much greenspace'; that some of it isn’t used etc , etc.

BUT WE WANT A DIFFERENT DEBATE.  One about  listening to the people of Liverpool,not just developers, about quality of life, especially for children and families, about our health and well-being, about climate change and smart green cities of the future, about wildlife and what they need, about WHAT PARKS AND GREENSPACES GIVE TO US.

We need Joe to understand that  these places are largely protected now, and for very good reasons.  He can’t just rip up the planning policies overnight with no respect or ideas of what will replace the parks and green spaces once they’re gone – and gone forever. He can’t hand over valuable land without more consultation and accountability.  That was not in Joe’s manifesto when he was elected.

Email paddyshennan@liverpool.co.uk or tweet @PaddyShennan.

DO IT TODAY!

Thanks


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What Did People Say, Redrow?

The Redrow Public Consultation ended on 23rd Sept.  Everyone who spoke to us or that we heard  making comments was fiercely opposed to ANY DEVELOPMENT.  But we may be mistaken?? OK REDROW, we would like to know what the results were, what people contributed and their feelings about your development. Their lead PR contact Charlotte Morris went on holiday for 3 weeks immediately after the public event in Liverpool on 16th Sept – and before the consultation period ended – so we can’t ask her!!

ACTION FOR SUPPORTERS AND THE CAMPAIGN GROUP

1. Follow this link and contact Alex Wood, Redrow Director, or one of his colleagues to ask for the consultation results for Sefton Park Meadows. Demand that they are made public.

2. We want to know what is the likely date of a Redrow submission, AND the date of the planning committee meeting to consider their application.   Contact Stuart Clarke, Team Leader, South Team, Development Management, Liverpool City Council  and ask him.   stuart.clark@liverpool.gov.uk    Tel 0151 233 3021

3. We grilled Redrow at the public event on 16th Sept about protection for the trees around the Meadows.  They should be safe under Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs), they are in a Conservation Area, but housing development on this site cannot be successful without felling these trees.  Redrow’s statement that ‘trees would be retained, where possible’ was not reassuring. Director Alex Wood was less than convincing when questioned. Trees may be ‘sold’ with housing plots to each owner, and their care go to a ‘management agency’.  No details were available for their protection during construction when large machinery would need access. Access to driveways and internal parking was  shown on their online design plans.  John Davies, Meadows campaigner, has enlarged one of these and shows in detail  how driveways would impact on the greenspace.

Mock up design of how trees and landscape would be damaged by housing at Sefton Park Meadows

John Davies, Meadows campaigner, shows how access driveways would look for housing on the Meadows

Contact Liverpool City Council Conservation Office Enquiries AND/OR your local councillor, and demand that trees be protected at Sefton Park Meadows.

We said, right from the beginning of this campaign, that Sefton Park Meadows was only the first public greenspace to be threatened under Joe Anderson and his ‘ Regeneration’ team.  Olive Mount quickly followed, then Woolton Woods, and recently, Walton Hall Park.  On Sept 23rd, the Regeneration Select Committee met to discuss a long list of new parks and greenspaces on a future housing development list, as part of Liverpool’s new Local Plan. See  www.ourground.net

It’s time for a new deal for Parks and Greenspaces for the People of Liverpool

Before it’s too late…

 

Thanks


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What Plans, Where, Redrow?

Over 400 of us answered Redrow’s call to come and comment on their housing plans for Sefton Park Meadows on Tues 16th Sept.

Only problem? There were no detailed plans to comment on! We were shown 5 boards with information on such as Liverpool’s planning documents, the benefits of housing in the Mossley Hill area, a basic ( to say the least) aerial view of the Meadows with 30+ small blue boxes aligned on it, (representing 55 units, including apartments) and  a few random housing  styles that may be included – or not.  See the boards here on the Redrow online consultation website.

MISSING were any detailed designs of:

  • what the development would realistically look like
  • access in and out, including to approx 40 individual driveways
  • concrete assurances on the threat to the magnificent trees ( ‘ trees will be retained, where possible’, and when we probed the Redrow director on this, he admitted that trees would be ‘sold’ with the houses to each individual owner)
  • views in and across the park with the new houses
  • traffic management

You have 6 days UNTIL TUES 23RD SEPT  to give your comments to Redrow.  EITHER online using the above link. Or EMAIL to landatparkavenue@lexcomm.co.uk .   Or by post to Redrow Homes at Park Avenue, ℅ Lexington Communications, First Floor, The Zenith Building, 26 Spring Gardens, Manchester, M2 1AB

Our  SINGLE COMMENT using the ‘Added Comments’ section if using the online form, email, or in your letter, is

NO TO REDROW, NO TO HOUSING...

We can’t comment on plans that are not available… We won’t participate in a tick box exercise… we won’t support any housing on Sefton Park Meadows…

THANKS TO THE HUGE NUMBERS OF LOCAL PEOPLE WHO CAME TO TELL REDROW THEIR VIEWS. Special thanks to Liverpool Taxi Drivers Alliance and Socialist Singers.

MAYOR ANDERSON WAS NOT SPOTTED.


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PR Firm Start Sending Out Redrow Publicity

Please circulate this Redrow Land at Park Avenue consultation leaflet to all your contacts  ahead of  the Redrow Public Consultation Event on 16th Sept from 2pm to 7pm at Greenbank Sports Centre, Greenbank Lane Liverpool L17 1AG. See their map below, showing the distribution area for the leaflets – only 5,700 are being produced for the immediate Mossley Hill Area.  Sefton Park has a massive catchment of users and visitors across the north and south of the city.  Why aren’t they being directly asked  to attend and give their views? Posters will only be put up locally too.  Their press release will go out soon.

Redrow map of the area they will send out leaflets for their public consultation event

Redrow map of leaflet distribution for consultation event

Redrow has hired a top London and Manchester based PR company specialising in land and property deals to run this event, so it will be a slick affair!  They say they will run a strong media campaign – listen up and if they are on a phone in – call and give them your views.

Charlotte Morris of Lexington Communications states in an email, “we are more than happy to provide information to those who cannot attend the exhibition, as well as allow them to provide their feedback on the plans”.  She also adds that “we can also send information by post to anyone who cannot make it to the exhibition or readily access the internet.”   Contact Charlotte.Morris@lexcomm.co.uk  if you wish or phone their community information line on 0844 556 3002 (Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.30pm).

Lexington has also created a ‘holding’ webpage     www.landatparkavenue.co.uk

so please bookmark this site now.  It will go live ONLY from 16th Sept  for you to view and comment on Redrow’s ‘exclusive’ homes proposals.

DON’T BE FOOLED! THIS IS NOT A CONSULTATION PROCESS.

This is simply a PR exercise by Lexington Communications to promote the executive housing development  and ‘soft peddle’ the designs in order to get support for the planning application to Liverpool City Council, which is coming next.

It will be interesting to see how they go about their task. Is their objective to show support in the community for the proposals? How might they do this? A guess: By focussing on the need for housing in the area, by trying to demonstrate that the proposal still leaves plenty of green space (even if it is in gardens), by trying to show that the proposal enhances the setting in some way (e.g. defining edges), by showing that the proposal is in keeping with the area perhaps through materials and building styles borrowed from nearby housing? All possible.   They will fish for positive comments which can be selectively used to build a case even if it means taking them out of context. Then maybe by pulling out from the process some figures showing how many people support the proposals.

Alternatively they may just do the whole thing as blandly as possible, ticking the consultation box without trying to fan the flames.

We need to avoid getting distracted by the style or ‘quality’ of their executive housing plans. Our Campaign position is still strong and focussed:

SAY NO TO ANY HOUSING…. MEADOW NOT REDROW…. THIS IS NOT A DONE DEAL….

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