SAVE SEFTON PARK MEADOWS

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


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Update on the Meadows and Planning Application

Just to bring all friends and supporters up to date 
The SSPM Campaign Group have recently been in contact with Liverpool Council Planning Department to ask for an update on Redrow Homes and Sefton Park Meadows.
Their response was that no decision has been made, nor any report prepared in connection with the current Redrow planning application. We had been told by the Mayor and the Planning Officer earlier this year that Redrow intended to submit an amended planning application, following the Mayor’s two public announcements about trees being felled and the density of proposed housing .  You may recall the objections date for this current application was 19th February.   However, no amended planning application has not yet been submitted to the Council from Redrow and the Council are obviously waiting for – and probably negotiating with Redrow – over this.  We have not been given any explanation why. We are not sure if it is connected with the report Simon O’Brien is drafting for the Greenspaces Review Board – which should be published in draft for public consultation in June, we were told.

We have been informed by the Planning Officer that when any amended planning application is received, all relevant parties will be re-consulted and given the opportunity to comment further. We are not sure if this means we all have to amend and resubmit our original objections at this stage. She will then prepare a report taking into account any comments received. Following this, the Planning Committee will consider this report and make their decision to reject or approve.

Keep watching this space  and our Facebook/Twitter pages for news.

Great article from the Guardian journalist and writer Owen Jones We Must Fight to Make Our Cities Healthy Places to Live

Many thanks for your continuing support of Sefton Park Meadows.


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Candidates Responses to Our Local Election Survey

April 29th 2015

See our Candidates Survey Responses to the two questions we asked for our local Liverpool elections survey on Sefton Park Meadows and Loss of Greenspaces.

See the additional Comments to Survey  made by local political groups and individual candidates.

We sent our  survey (see previous post) to the central offices of the main political parties in Liverpool. We also sent it to as many candidates whose email contact details we could find.

We invited candidates to contact us through  Facebook, by email or on Twitter.

We focussed on candidates closest to Sefton Park Meadows, and also invited  others from wards across the city to respond.

We have received only 1 comment from ANY candidate in Liverpool Labour Party to our greenspaces survey.  This is despite sending it out to Liverpool Labour Central Office, the Mayor’s Office (as he is the lead agent), and to all current councillors across the city. The comment is from current councillor Patrick Hurley, standing again for Mossley Hill Ward, close to the Meadows. He did not however answer either question specifically.

We have had All Candidate responses to both questions with further comments from Liverpool Green Party AND Liverpool Liberal Democrats. ALL of their candidates standing are opposed to the sale of the Meadows and public parks and greenspace cherished by local people.

We had an all candidate comment only from Northwest Liberals.

We have had one response to both questions and further comments from a Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate. This is from a Greenbank Ward candidate, opposing the sale of the Meadows and other greenspace sales.

We had two response from UKIP and comments.  From their Picton ward candidate who is also parliamentary candidate in Wavertree constituency, and from their Woolton candidate. Both responded to both questions with ‘No’ to sell offs of the Meadows or other greenspaces,a nd made further comments.

One Independent candidate responded to both questions with comments.  Standing in Wavertree ward, he responded to both questions with ‘No’ to sale of Meadows or other greenspaces.  He is also chair of the Save Our Greenspaces (SOGS) campaign.

We will add any further responses we receive as they come in before Election Day on May 7th.

If you wish to ask your candidate for council about their views on greenspace sell offs in Liverpool, please see the previous post for our survey.

Thank You


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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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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 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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Meadow NOT Redrow

Redrow has been announced – finally – as the preferred Liverpool City Council developer to ‘ buy’ Sefton Park Meadows and build houses there. See Liverpool Confidential’s news article and our press statement  SSPM Press Statement 27 August 2014

SHAME ON CEO STEVE MORGAN AND REDROW!  Does he know Sefton Park and the Meadows?  Has he ever spent any time there, especially on a beautiful spring or summer day and enjoyed its trees, views and sense of space and light? If so, and he still wants to build there, then double shame on him…What motivates him to take away  the last of the original Sefton Park grassland areas – and no, we contest the claim that this was always intended for Victiorian villas.  We have council minutes from the 1860s and 1870s to challenge this.  The Meadows are almost certainly part of Edouard André’s original Sefton Park design and form the grand entrance in and out from Queen’s Drive.  Its double row of Lime trees are unique in Liverpool.  Its sandstone boundary wall and open grasslands are part of its landscape views and heritage.

Why build here Redrow?  Presumably because  all of this makes it a lucrative place for you too sell expensive but banal houses – by destroying the very character that makes it so attractive?!  It’s within Sefton Park’s Conservation Area and alongside the Grade 1 Listed area ( which the campaign is also challenging with English Heritage. The Meadows should be part of its listing!).

Not to mention the Meadows as part of Liverpool’s green lungs, its internationally celebrated parks and openspaces, a wildlife corridor, part of our urban  natural resources  to provide shade, habitat, clean air and combat pollution.  Above all, the Meadows are treasured by the people of Liverpool – north and south – as  one of our GREAT PLACES TO BE.  For relaxation, for leisure, for families, for activities, for quiet space, above all, for their beauty and history.

Mr Morgan, if you build and sell all of the 5,000 houses you have promised for Joe Anderson  as part of his Mayoral Pledge, Redrow stands to make over £250 million profit, we estimate (let us know if we have got this wrong!).  Wouldn’t  £8m to buy Sefton Park Meadows for the people of Liverpool, gifted to us forever, be a good use for  a small part of this profit?      (Maybe tax efficient too??)

Answers on Facebook or Twitter please!!

SUPPORTERS, PLEASE NOTE FOR YOUR DIARY

REDROW will hold a pre-planning public consultation drop in event in September, at which people will be able to comment on their outline ideas for the site. We will publicise the date and details when we know them.

The sale of the land is conditional on Redrow obtaining planning approval. The Save Sefton Park Meadows campaign is fundraising to get expert help to object to planning by Redrow.  WE NEED FUNDS URGENTLY. Use the Paypal button on this page or on our Facebook site.  7,500 people signed our petition opposing the proposed sale of Sefton Park Meadows and a record 1,300 people objected to the misleading Loss of Open Space Public Notice (describing the Meadows as ‘incidental open space’ and hidden away in the back pages of the Liverpool Echo), giving Liverpool a free hand to dispose of the land.

THIS IS NOT A DONE DEAL!  WE WILL FIGHT THE LOSS OF SEFTON PARK MEADOWS AT EVERY STEP.

THE NEXT STAGE

REDROW will submit a planning application in September. We have hired an independent planning consultant to help us prepare our strong objections. We need money for this work to be successful, as it is likely to be a long process.  Please help if you can with a donation.  We will keep everyone informed of progress.

THANK YOU