SAVE SEFTON PARK MEADOWS

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


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No Formal Policy Protection for Meadows in New Local Plan

The Liverpool Local Plan 2013 -2033 Pre-submission draft January 2018 has now been published for Public Consultation.

From our reading, we conclude that the Liverpool Local Plan 2013 -2033 Pre-submission draft January 2018 is not Legally Compliant or Sound.

Our campaign group has put together Local Plan 2018 SPM comments to highlight our concerns over the continuing lack of protection for the Meadows and other greenspaces in this Draft Local Plan. We need supporters to comment and challenge this Local Plan to provide clear, unambiguous policy protection for Sefton Park Meadows, Green Space and Green Wedge across the city. You can refer to these comments in your representations if they are helpful.

We are also sending our more detailed representations to the Council.

The Liverpool Local Plan 2013 -2033 Pre-submission draft and all Supporting Documents, including FAQ’s and how to comment can be found here

All representations must be submitted by the deadline of Friday 9 March 2018.

 Reduced status in new Open Spaces Report & Assessment

The new updated LCC Open Space Report Standards April 2017 is also finally published as a Supporting Document with the Local Plan. It reveals that the Meadows has been redesignated to Amenity Greenspace of ‘Low Quality or Value’. This is a significant change from the Open Spaces Report 2005 where the Meadows was clearly shown as part of Sefton Park and High Value/ Quality. No consultation has been held on these changes.

Comments can be made online, by email or by post. Although the Council website strongly recommends that you comment online on the Local Plan specific chapters, sections, policies or tables, this appears to be a very onerous and time consuming process.  You can download our Local Plan SPM comments list of 6 representations (link given above) and send it with your contact details to the Council by email, post or in person (see details below).

Alternatively, download the Council’s 4 page liverpool-local-plan-representation-form, fill in your details, attach our SPM Comments list of 6 representations, and/or your own comments,  and send to the Council.

All completed forms and comments can be sent:

by email to: liverpoollocalplan@liverpool.gov.uk

by post to: Submission Draft Liverpool Local Plan Consultation, Development Plans, FREEPOST RRUK-HRTT-LATT, Cunard Building, Water Street, Liverpool L3 1DS.

Or in person to the Cunard Building offices.

 

Drop-in information events by the Council

Come and find out more about the draft plan and how to comment on it.

20th February 2018: 11am – 5:30pm. Bean There Café 376 Smithdown Rd, L15 5AN.

• 1st March 2018: 11am-7pm. Central Library, William Brown Street, L3 8EW.

You can make comments related to Sefton Park Meadows and other green open spaces across Liverpool or any other matters in the Local Plan that interest you. Your comments will be considered by an independent inspector in the preparation for the next stage of the plan.

What happens next

April-December 2018: Draft plan will be submitted for an independent examination. The Inspector must consider all comments and representations made as part of this consultation.

December 2018-January 2019: Council to adopt the plan and the legal challenge period starts.

So it is important that we get as many representations made as possible at this stage to highlight the lack of protection for the Meadows and Green Space in the Liverpool Local Plan January 2018 document.

The Mayor of Liverpool has confirmed to the Echo that no houses will be built on Sefton Park Meadows, but gives no protection in his 15 year Local Plan.  He now also appears intent on finding a ‘use’ for the Meadows. We have proved its worth now, and no development can ‘improve’ this heritage greenspace.

Please share this information with family and friends.

Remember to submit comments on the Liverpool Local Plan 2013 -2033 to the Council before the Friday 9 March 2018 deadline.

Thank you!


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After long period of quiet, Liverpool provokes Meadows anxiety again

Liverpool City Council has been very quiet on its housing plans for the Meadows.  Its just back from a recent battering by Redrow’s barristers over refusing permission to build on Allerton Priory, and has more protests to face over similar plans for Calderstones and Harthill greenspaces.

The council announced  its new Housing ‘company’ with the aim to build 10,000 homes. Now the long, long awaited DRAFT Liverpool Local Plan (Pre-Submission Draft) setting out city-wide development, including housing, parks and greenspaces is finally out for public consultation on 26th January, for 6 weeks.

Find Council’s Report to Cabinet on 19th January  here

Full Council Meeting meets on 24 January, and anyone can send in a question on the Meadows – or anything else before the meeting.

After this there will be a six week Public Consultation period for submission of public comments. The Meadows campaign is reading and scrutinising the Local Plan and will comment further after scrutiny on both FB and here.

See our FB site for a  link to recent Radio Merseyside interview with Cllr Anne O’Byrne on the Meadows.  Makes interesting listening and we are following up her comments.

Some first things that stand out from the Council Report:

Page 5 of 30 – Greenfield sites are not currently needed to meet the housing requirement and previously developed land is brought forward on a continuous basis.

Page 11 of 30 – With regard to providing land to meet the City’s housing needs, the Local Plan is able to meet the requirement without the need to review the provision of designated open or green space or by specifying target levels of housing outside the City Centre. The City Council considers that a satisfactory balance of housing provision is being delivered – with a substantial proportion of the total housing requirement being delivered as larger family homes (3 & 4 bedrooms).

Page 15 of 30 – In response to these representations the green infrastructure policies accord with NPPF and include criteria based policies against which development proposals will be assessed. There is no need to allocate open space to meet the City’s housing requirement. In addition the City Council notes that paragraph A42 of the Housing White Paper Published in February 2017 states that government intends to amend the NPPF to stress that ‘great weight should be attached to the value of using suitable brownfield land within settlements for homes’. This is a principle that the Local Plan is following.

With regard to the Green Wedge policy it is considered to be appropriate as it recognises that the City has large areas of interlinked open spaces which provide a number of important functions. Land within these areas is not required to meet the City’s housing need. The Open Space Study does consider the Accessible Natural Greenspace Standards(ANGSt) but considers that, given the substantial urban nature of Liverpool, it is more appropriate to use a local standard.

More info to follow soon.  Keep up to date!


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URGENT Liverpool Parks to Come under ‘ New Management’

URGENT MEETING

Tuesday 16th May 7pm

 All Hallows Church Hall, 1 Greenhaill Road,L18 6JJ 

The Council are bringing new proposals for managing Calderstones and Stanley Parks at their next Cabinet on Friday 19th May 2017 . ALL LOCAL RESIDENTS URGED TO ATTEND ALL HALLOWS TONIGHT TO GIVE THEIR VIEWS.

These plans were first suggested as part of recommendations in Simon O’Brien’s Strategic Greenspaces Plan (see link)

 

 

 

Cabinet agenda  – items 4e & 4f states it is seeking the procurement of new ‘operators’:

Transferring the operation of the park to an operator under a contracted out lease and concession agreement will provide the new operator with the freedom and flexibility to generate income and bid for grant funding unavailable to the Council and place the park outside of the scope of further cuts to the Council’s budget safeguarding it for future generations.
The Council’s objective is to gradually reduce its subsidy of the park to ideally remove it altogether over time“.

Calderstones has the Reader Organisation Community Interest Company (CIC) running key properties in the Park and Stanley Park also has an active CIC – both already receive major grant funding.

Read details of the Cabinet’s proposals for Calderstones Harthill Park from this pdf

See the full Cabinet agenda here

You have the right to make your views known to the Cabinet.  Other Parks will follow as the Council’s budgets for Liverpools Parks and Greenspaces runs out…

 


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Marking Four Years of Meadows Campaign

Four years ago on Frid 22 March 2013, a group of protesters lobbied a Liverpool City Council cabinet meeting to protest over a Mayoral recommendation to sell Sefton Park Meadows for exclusive large house development. The Save the Meadows campaign exploded across the city when this was approved, kick starting  a succession of battles over parks and greenspaces and their importance to the people of Liverpool, its wellbeing, sustainability and 21st century economy.

Save the Meadows Anniversary Press Release 22 March 2013 Anniversary.

             Liverpool Echo published their timeline of the campaign.

We are currently waiting for the next stage of the Liverpool Local Plan to be published AND for more details on the new Metro Mayor candidates’ campaigns, and their position on the Meadows.  We understand that a new regional Spatial Plan will also be developed by the successful Metro Mayor and we will be working to gain commitment for the protection of the Meadows.

SEFTON PARK Meadows. Location map 2013

Sefton Park Meadows

 

 

 

 

Chair of Save Sefton Park Meadows Ken Aspinall challenged Echo journalist Alastair Houghton on his article the same day on the published profits of house builder Redrow.   Redrow set for more than £300m profits

Redrow DID submit a planning application for Sefton Park Meadows in January 2015, which was rejected by the Mayor of Liverpool as it called for the destruction of 27 mature trees. Redrow were then instructed by the Mayor to submit revised plans.  Redrow have not, to date, submitted a revised planning application for Sefton Park Meadows, so their original submitted application is still ‘live’. Hundreds of people submitted very detailed objections to this again in 2015. We employed a Planning Consultant, thanks to campaign supporters’ donations, to compile our professional objections report.

Alastair Houghton’s article includes two photographs of campaigners outside the Redrow public consultation event held on 15 September 2014. At this event Redrow were left in no doubt that people were opposed to the development of Sefton Park Meadows. This was confirmed in the Redrow Community Involvement Statement  as part of their January 2015 planning application documentation.

We also promoted our Starter for 10 Objections to housing development.

A Freedom of Information request was submitted in Spring 2016 over correspondence and deal making between LCC and Redrow for the Meadows.  This revealed that Redrow were now secretly offering £4m for the Meadows ( down from a suggested value of £10m stated by Mayor Anderson)  but that LCC could not be sure an independent valuation would agree this low figure. The application has been stalled for over 2 years now.

Redrow are also under huge pressure to withdraw their housing development plan in the  Harthill and Calderstones Park Estate and the govt’s National Planning Casework Unit has agreed to a Casework Officer to start an investigation into the application process, after information was submitted by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and Save Our  Greenspaces Liverpool (SOGS).

Cuts to council finances are huge, we know this.  Our greenspace campaigns have proved that housing developers are using this to move into protected parks and greenspaces.  But we know and have proved that these spaces are not an ‘optional extra’ to cities like Liverpool.  They are a vital factor in our survival as a successful, attractive, healthy and sustainable city for now and the future.

WE WILL CONTINUE OUR CAMPAIGN UNTIL SEFTON PARK MEADOWS IS WITHDRAWN FROM HOUSING DEVELOPMENT!

Please carry on supporting these campaigns for parks and greenspaces.

Thanks.


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Comments In by Oct 31st to Protect the Meadows and Greenspaces

Drop in Session:  Mon 24th Oct 5.30pm to 7pm, 6th Floor Cunard Building.

We have already posted about the urgency for local people to comment on Liverpool’s new Draft Local Plan, demanding that the council protect ALL our parks AND Greenspaces, including Sefton Park Meadows.  Comments in writing on the Council website or by email must be in by Oct 31st.

Engage Liverpool are facilitating a workshop discussion on the draft Local Plan on 6th floor of the Cunard Building, Pier Head.  For more details and how to register, email chair@engageliverpool.com

See our previous posting for more details on how to make comments, or jump onto our  FB page.  We have also updated our supporters-guide-draft-local-plan to help you make your points on why the Meadows should be protected.

You can also call for Sefton Park Meadows to be a special site, protected in the Draft Local Plan. We have partially completed this form for supporters to send in.  Download http://www.ourground.net/SITESFORM_2016.docx and  just fill in with your details and send in.  All details on form. You must also attach this sefton-park-meadows-location-map pic of the Meadows site with your form   http://www.ourground.net/SPM_Location_Map.pdf

 

 

LATEST NEWS: The Strategic Green and Open Spaces Boardled by Simon O’Brien launched its Final Green and Open Spaces Report on 6th October at the Isla Gladstone in Stanley Park. Some of this makes interesting reading for the Meadows campaign and supports its protection from Redrow’s housing development ‘green snatch’.   We have used Simon O’Brien’s recommendations in this new report to support our case.

strategic-green-open-spaces-final-report


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Have Your Say to Save Liverpool Greenspaces in new Draft Local Plan

Liverpool city council has started a 6 week public consultation, inviting public comments on its new draft Local Plan.

Read here the Liverpool city council press release: local-plan-llc-press-release-16916

These 2 diagrams are also given by Liverpool liverpool-local-plan-2018-2033-infographic draft-local-plan-fig1council to help understand how the Plan works.

The Local Plan is a legal planning document that Liverpool has to produce showing details of its 15 year development plan to 2033. Liverpool has a target to build 29,000 new homes, and the draft Local Plan sets out how they aim to do this.

We need a s many supporters as possible to demand that Sefton Park Meadows – and all Liverpool greenspaces – are protected in this Local Plan. Follow this link for a copy of the draft plan and  for How to Respond  forms:

http://liverpool.gov.uk/localplanconsultation

The council state that parks will be protected by this Plan – but we will continue to challenge their interpretation of the Meadows as NOT part of Sefton Park, which means they can still sell it off for housing, alongside other cherished and valuable greenspaces. PLEASE SEND IN YOUR COMMENTS. YOU CAN DEMAND THAT:

  1. SEFTON PARK MEADOWS BE PROTECTED FROM DEVELOPMENT AS PART OF SEFTON PARK.
  2. ALL LIVERPOOL GREENSPACES BE PROTECTED FROM DEVELOPMENT

The Draft Local Plan is 300 pages long!  Our campaign group are writing campaign-submissions-pdf to help you make yours.  We will keep adding to these questions over the next few weeks.

You may want to look at a hard copy. Copies and forms are also available, during normal opening hours, at:

  1. Municipal Buildings One Stop Shop, Dale Street
  2. LiverpoolCentral Library, William Brown Street
  3. All Community Libraries across the City

The Council press release states that “This six-week public consultation will seek feedback on a series of priorities to grow the city’s economy up to 2033, such as identifying and protecting land for jobs, retail development and housing.”

All comments must be returned to the city council by 5pm on Monday, 31 October, by one of the following methods:

Online-  Using the City Council’s Local Plan portal (link above)

email-  to Development.Plans@liverpool. gov.uk

post to-  FREEPOST RRUK-HRTT-LATT, Liverpool City Council, Planning and Building Control, Municipal Buildings, Dale Street, Liverpool L2 2DH.

MORE INFORMATION WILL FOLLOW THROUGH THIS 6 WEEK PERIOD. Watch this space!

Many thanks

Campaign Team


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Damning Secret Negotiations Revealed with Redrow Homes

We have been given access to new, previously secret emails from Liverpool City Council through a published Freedom of Information (FOI) request, which reveals the negotiations between Redrow Homes and the Council to try to sell off Sefton Park Meadows and secure planning approval for luxury housing before the recent local and mayoral elections.

The Council response has been published on the WhatDoTheyKnow website. The published Council response can be accessed at the link below.

What Do They Know Click on the link titled 448646 Delahunty att1 150716.pdf

Or go straight to documents.

Top level council officers, including Andy Wallace, a senior development manager, were trying to get a timetable for sale of Sefton Park Meadows and a revised planning application approved before Liverpool voters went to the ballot box, knowing that this would have been a major issue for local people. Redrow were threatening to withdraw from the sale if a timetable could not be agreed. The information shows that council officers struggled to get an accurate valuation on the Meadows – that would not be legally challenged- and were waiting until after the elections to start the negotiations again.

The WhatDoTheyKnow website published this information on 15 July 2016.  It covers email correspondence from 14 December 2014 to 30 March 2016.

What We Found Out:

1. Redrow / Liverpool City Council kept secret their negotiations all last year and early this year, despite repeated requests from Meadows campaigners for information on the sale and planning application. Local councillors were not kept informed despite similar requests.

2. Redrow’s offer valuation of £4 million for this significant heritage green space differs greatly from the £10 million promised by the Mayor of Liverpool.

3. Redrow’s land valuation method is in doubt and not agreed by the council. Their own valuation services confirm the complexity of the site and that accurate valuations will be costly to undertake.

4. ‘Radio silence’ since March 30th 2016. The negotiations were halted due to the forthcoming local elections in the knowledge that any sale would become politically toxic, despite Redrow threatening to withdraw their offer.

5. The Save Sefton Park Meadows campaign has been discussed at the highest Council levels. Their awareness of the huge public commitment to the Meadows shown by ‘ need to tone it down’ and ‘language too strong’ emails. Officers were very concerned over formal complaints about Mayor Joe Anderson’s intervention into the quasi-judicial planning process and sought internal legal advice to respond to the Save Sefton Park Meadows campaign.

6. Formal questioning by Cllr Richard Kemp last year to get negotiations out in the open were secretly discussed but his demands were ignored and no information was made public.

The Save Sefton Park Meadows campaign group now demands to know exactly where the proposed sale is up to. Transparency and accountability should be paramount in all Council matters, especially in the matter of parks and green spaces developments, which have such a high level of public interest in the city.

A new and important planning document – the draft Liverpool Local Plan – is scheduled for discussion at the Regeneration Committee meeting on 28 July. This will then be published for public consultation in August. The Strategic Green & Open Spaces Review Board Final Report (Chaired by Simon O’Brien) will also be out for public consultation a week or two after the draft Local Plan.

We will be providing links and ways for EVERYONE to comment on both of these as soon as we can.

 

 


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Steve Rotheram MP Declares Candidacy for Metro Mayor

Liverpool Walton MP Steve Rotheram has entered the race to become the Liverpool city region’s first elected Metro Mayor. See Liverpool Echo.

In the Echo report Steve Rotheram says “I will ensure we invest in our infrastructure, while protecting our green spaces – balancing the old with the new.” This points to a potential political difference with the current Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson, who will go head to head against Steve Rotheram for the, as yet undecided, Labour Party nomination.

Steve Rotheram MP has secured the backing of St. Helens council leader Barrie Grunewald for his Metro Mayor bid.
The St. Helens council leader was considering standing for the nomination. Cllr Grunewald will now have a key role in running MP Steve Rotheram’s campaign.
Notable that Cllr Grunewald, Vice Chair of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, says: “In the coming weeks as he (MP Steve Rotheram) announces his pledges and manifesto, I know Labour Party members will come to the same conclusion as me, they want a person who is open, who is transparent, who has vision and integrity, a campaigner who has a proven track record in taking on the establishment and getting success.
The newly created Metro Mayor role – due to be elected in May 2017 – is set to be one of the most powerful political roles outside London.
Will it give greater protection to the green space of Sefton Park Meadows?
Watch this space.


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Get Our City Mayoral Candidates to Save Trees and Greenspaces

The 2nd Liverpool Mayoral election will take place on Thurs May 5th, along with other local council elections.  This is another chance for us all to  challenge ALL Mayoral candidates on their commitment to Liverpool’s parks and greenspaces – and specifically to those under threat of development, like Sefton Park Meadows.

The Woodland Trust has started a campaign to  ask Mayoral candidates to state publicly if they support the protection of trees. Using their online tool, you can:

  • ask candidates how they intend to protect and restore woodland and plant more trees in Liverpool
  • download useful resources to help you speak up for trees, including a special election door hanger
  • ask if they support saving Sefton Park Meadows – and/or another greenspace near you – in the box for extra comments

PLEASE USE THIS TOOL TO RAISE TREES, GREENSPACES, AND SEFTON PARK MEADOWS AS AN ELECTION ISSUE!

Read our Facebook Page for up to date news and events on these elections.

Save the Meadows campaigners have already used this campaign to contact all Liverpool mayoral candidates.  So far we have had replies from:

  1. Cllr Richard Kemp, Lib Dems Mayoral candidate
  2. Cllr Tom Crone, Green Party Mayoral candidate
  3. Alan Hutchinson

ALL HAVE PLEDGED SUPPORT FOR TREES, SEFTON PARK MEADOWS, AND OTHER PARKS AND GREENSPACES UNDER THREAT.

We are awaiting reponses from the other candidates, including the Labour Party incumbent, Joe Anderson… Watch this space.

Cllr Kemp has also published a blog post stating that he has written to two Redrow Homes non- executive directors to ask them to ‘Move On or Move Out’ of the Meadows, and withdraw the site from development before the elections.

Use your voice at these elections to SAVE THE MEADOWS.  We may not get another chance at the ballot box!

Thank you