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

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Have Your Say On Greenspaces Interim Report

Further to the launch of the city council’s Green and Open spaces Interim report, chaired and written by Simon O’Brien, 2 public meetings have been held with one more to go at the end of January. Meadows campaigners attended the 2nd meeting in the Dingle on Thurs 21st Jan and, with other attendees, pushed for this report to be more widely publicised to encourage more comment and scrutiny of its recommendations. (See previous post for implications for the Meadows).

The council has now put out the following email newsletter.  Use this to make your comments about how you feel parks, greenspaces and public open spaces should be managed and protected.

Fom Liverpool council:

As you probably know, the Interim Report from the Mayoral Green Spaces Review Board is now available. It outlines the extensive survey, consultation and research work undertaken by the Board and makes a series of recommendations from the Board to be presented to the Mayor and Liverpool Council.

However, this is not the final document and you are invited to let the Board know your views on the Interim Report and submit comments, questions or ideas. This is your opportunity to make your views known. The responses can be as individuals and/or as representation by Friends or other groups.

The link for the report and  for comments is here Report & Comments 

Many people have already attended the public meetings that have been held to discuss the report and have already provided useful feedback in the discussions. But if you haven’t been, you cannot be sure that your views have been represented!

The final public meeting is on Thursday 28th January at ‘The Black E’, Great George Street (5pm – 8pm) and all are welcome to attend. To ensure a place, please book by email or call 0151 233 7045.

Liverpool Parks Friends Forum Chair, Mark Boardman, said “This series of consultation events are critical to the future of Liverpool’s Parks and Green Spaces, in refining the recommendations of the Interim Report.”

The outcome of the meetings, comments and discussions will contribute towards the Final Report, which is scheduled for publication at the end of March. After this it will be presented to the Mayor and Council as the primary consultation document for the future of parks. Now is your chance to have your say!”

Please share this link with friends and family who may be interested to contribute – the wider the consultation process is, the more value it has.

PS The Meadows campaign has also been asked by Save Britain’s Heritage (SAVE) to publicise its Just Giving fundraising campaign for a legal challenge to the Lime Street development application.  Linked to Merseyside Civic Society, SAVE believes this project has important implications in terms of challenging the council’s lack of respect for heritage and planning principles. A good background piece on this in Liverpool Confidential is also worth a look.




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NEW City Council GreenSpaces Public Survey July 2015


Liverpool Council have posted a new Parks and Greenspaces Survey online.

Please read this, complete the survey and spread the word to as many people as possible to fill in. The closing date is 28th August 2015.

The feedback from the recent workshops led by Simon O’Brien’s Greenspaces Review Board are also here: comments from Greenspaces workshops

From Liverpool City Council: “We have been approached by colleagues in our Planning Department to ask if you would be able to assist them and provide a response to an on-line survey that forms part of an Open Space Study that they are undertaking to better understand the provision of open spaces across the City and how people use them, why they visit them or why they don’t. The results of this study will be made available to the Green and Open Spaces Review Board and will help to inform the work the Green and Open Spaces Review Board is undertaking.

The survey is online and takes about 5 minutes to complete.   Greenspaces Survey

The closing date for comments is 28 August 2015.

Brief Explanation of the Survey
This survey forms part of an Open Space Study that is being led by City Council Planning Officers. The survey seeks to find out:
– what it is about the publicly accessible open spaces that people know about that encourages them to use those spaces,
– how often they go to them,
– how far they travel to get there,
– how satisfied they are with the availability and quality of open spaces, and
– what is important to people about the open spaces where they live

The questions are relevant to all publicly accessible open spaces, whether owned by the City Council or any other body. The assessment looks to identify local need for provision within areas and will serve as a key evidence base that will help to inform future decision making processes for the Council.

Any questions regarding this survey should be directed to Helen Breen or tel 0151 233 3021.”


Thank you

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Important Meadows Public Meeting Frid 20th March with Green Spaces Review Board

The key public meeting for  Sefton Park Meadows,  run by the Green Space Review Board, is THIS FRIDAY:

Greenbank, Church & Mossley Hill Wards: 20 March, 6.30 – 8.00pm
Merseyside Police Support and Social Association, Riversdale Road, Liverpool L19 3QN

Please attend if you can and encourage as many of your friends and neighbours to go along. Chair Simon O’Brien is willing to listen and take account of local views at the moment, before he writes his draft report in June.  We need people to stand up for the Meadows and our parks and greenspaces.

Our request to this Board regarding Sefton Park Meadows is very simple:

‘In view of the the special and unique position of Sefton Park Meadows, which has been clearly and widely articulated by huge numbers of local residents across the city of Liverpool, and people from a wider Liverpool expatriate community, we request that the Strategic Board ask the Mayor to reverse the decision to sell Sefton Park Meadows and retain it as part of our heritage greenspace asset for future generations.’

Also, check out this new national Parks Manifesto  to get politicians to pledge their support  in the run up to the Elections in May.

Other Strategic Greenspaces public meetings are being held in the next few week, details below.  

The Future of Liverpool’s Parks and Greenspaces?

The much awaited city council Green Space Review Board, chaired by Liverpool actor and environmentalist Simon O’Brien, is out and about visiting our city parks and greenspaces.  The Panel has also scheduled 10 meetings covering all Liverpool wards.  The first was on Tuesday 10th March in St Michael’s, Central and Riverside Wards. See below for the full schedule.

The Save Sefton Park Meadows campaign has no doubt however, that a significant objective of this review is to identify green space for housing developments AND to save costs in maintaining Liverpool’s parks and greenspaces. Last year, a number of property developers such as Redrow called for a greenspaces review to get more valuable – and currently protected –  sites such as Sefton Park Meadows included as viable sites for new ‘ executive’ housing. Already from the Strategic Greenspace and Open Spaces Review Board Terms of Reference we have noted with concern that the following key objectives include:

4.4 Land Identification & Ownership: Consider the key issues associated with land use in order to allow the Council to make decisions in relation to land ownership, equitable access, development and management. The project will review and agree the existing land assets and type.

4.4.4  Incidental green and open space – that could be transferred to other individuals or organisations.

4.4.5  Land with a strategic value to the Council – whether that is through financial disposal to a developer; development of the land by the Council; or for wider regeneration and/or multifunctional benefits.

Of concern is this paragraph: 

1.3 It has ultimate accountability for the Strategic Review of Green and Open Spaces and acts as the ultimate point of reference for the development and allocation of land types (as set out below) across Liverpool.

Also note: The use of the term ‘Incidental’ in 4.4.4 above is specific to the original Notice of Disposal of Land that was used in June 2013 to put the Meadows up for sale.  We have consistently contested the term ‘ incidental land’ used by the city council to describe Sefton Park Meadows, given its currently location and unique protections.

As a Board which is representative of the people of Liverpool, with the right expertise and breadth, we are also extremely doubtful – see members of the Board listed below the meeting schedule.

The timescale for these meetings is very tight and they are already underway, as they need to run before the Election ‘purdah’ (when councillors and MPs have to withdraw from political activity).  Publicity of them is very limited, online only, to say the least. As well as being at the meetings, Simon O’Brien is attempting to visit all Liverpool’s greenspace sites during the course of this month – quite a task as there are around 200 to visit!

You can attend ANY of these meetings – regardless of whether you live in the relevant wards – to give your views on parks and greenspaces.  PLEASE ATTEND ONE OF THESE  IF YOU CAN. Make your views known.  The next most important for the Meadows campaign are in Greenbank, Church and Mossley Hill Wards, which include Sefton Park, on Frid 20th March 6.30pm to 8.30pm – see below.

Our request to this Board regarding Sefton Park Meadows is very simple:

In view of the the special and unique position of  Sefton Park Meadows, which has been clearly and widely articulated and proven by huge numbers of local residents across the city of Liverpool, and people from a wider Liverpool expatriate community, we request that the Strategic Board ask the Mayor to reverse the decision to sell Sefton Park Meadows and retain it as part of our heritage greenspace asset for future generations.

To give your views direct to the Board contact  Chair Simon O’Brien:

To request an invitation to one of the themed workshops in April and May you need to put in an email request via this website Workshop Attendance Request 

Ward Meetings Dates and Venues:

St Michael’s, Central & Riverside Wards: 10 March, 6.30 – 8.00pm
Southern Neighbourhood Council, 109 Upper Mann Street, Liverpool L8 6TS

Norris Green, Clubmoor & Tuebrook Wards: 12 March, 6.30 – 8.00pm
Porchfield Community Centre, Porchfield Close, Liverpool L11 9DT

Wavertree, Picton & Princes Park Wards: 14 March, 10.30am – midday
Wavertree Athletics Centre, Wellington Road, Liverpool L15 4LE

Fazakerley, Warbreck & County Wards: 17 March, 6.30 – 8.00pm
Community Centre, Formosa Drive, Liverpool L10 7LQ

Greenbank, Church & Mossley Hill Wards: 20 March, 6.30 – 8.00pm
Merseyside Police Support and Social Association, Riversdale Road, Liverpool L19 3QN

Knotty Ash, Old Swan and Kensington & Fairfield Wards: 21 March, 10.30 – midday
Kensington Fields Community Centre, Hall Lane, Liverpool L7 8TQ

Speke-Garston, Allerton and Hunts Cross & Cressington Wards: 24 March, 6.30 -8.00pm
Garston Urban Village Hall, Banks Road, Liverpool L19 8JZ

Croxteth, West Derby & Yew Tree Wards: 25 March, 6.30 – 8.00pm
Croxteth Hall & Country Park, Off Muirhead Avenue East, Liverpool L11 1EH

Anfield, Kirkdale & Everton: 26 March, 6.30 – 8.00pm
Kirkdale Neighbourhood Centre (KNC, The Gordon) Stanley Road, Kirkdale, Liverpool L5 7QP

Childwall, Belle Vale & Woolton: 28 March, 10.30 – midday
St James Church Hall, Woolton, Liverpool L25 7RJ

Board Members

Chair: Simon O’Brien
Cllr Steve Munby (Riverside Ward, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods & Waste Services)
Cllr Malcolm Kennedy (Kirkdale Ward, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Transport & Climate Change)
David Hughes, Head of Planning, Liverpool City Council
Ron Odunaiya, Head of Community Services, Liverpool City Council
Professor Richard Meegan, Professor of Economic Geography, European Institute for Urban Affairs, Liverpool John Moores University.
Dr Ian Mell, Lecturer in Planning and Civic Design, University of Liverpool
Arwa Al Rekabi, Denovo Design
Maxine Ennis, Rotunda
Malcolm Kelly, Woolton Youth Club
Victoria James, Estate Agent (Whitegates Woolton)


Campaigners needs to leave this Board with no doubt about our support for Liverpool’s parks and greenspaces.

Thank you.



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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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!!


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.    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

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

Before it’s too late…



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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!!


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.



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.




Latest Meeting: What You Can Do

We were invited as the Meadows campaign to speak at an informal meeting on Thurs 17th July at Ullet Road Unitarian Church. New Green Party councillor for Greenbank Ward, Lawrence Brown, wanted local people to come and meet him informally – and hear from the Meadows,  which he described as ‘one of the most important doorstep issues’ in Greenbank, helping him gain election for the first time.

The meeting was lively and well attended.  Meadows campaigners were led by local Avenues resident Janet Pell.  Cllr Brown was joined by another new Green Party councillor Tom Crone from St Michael’s Ward, who will now sit on the Council Regeneration Committee – the key group that was supposed to scrutinise  green space sell off.  Both pledged their continuing support to stop this heritage greenspace in Sefton Park being sold for housing. We also met a student at Hope University who is writing  his dissertation on the Meadows as part of his Environmental Management degree. People filled in questionnaires to support his survey work.

Sincere thanks to Angela, Hilary and the great people at the Unitarian Church.


1. We believe strongly that Redrow Homes are the preferred developer.  We want people to contact Redrow – and their Chief Executive Steve Morgan to ask him to confirm or deny, and say why they object to housing on this beautiful and unique part of Sefton Park.

Redrow House, St David’s Park, Ewloe, Flintshire, CH5 3RX
01244 520044 /01244 545655  or

You can also write to Nick Kavanagh and Joe Anderson to ask the same question.

Ask them to CONFIRM OR DENY!

2. We need to fundraise £1,500 to pay for professional legal and planning advice.  Redrow will submit a planning application for the Meadows in early September, and we need to be ready.  We are starting to draft our submissions BUT WE NEED PROFESSIONAL HELP.  And this will cost us money!  Please donate using our PAYPAL button lower down this page.  Share this on your own Facebook & Twitter Accounts.

3. Our government e-petition is open to AUGUST 2ND to ask for future planning approval to be called in for an independent review. SIGN UP NOW AND HELP US GET PROPER SCRUTINY OF THE COUNCIL’S SELL OFF.

4. English Heritage will have a major influence on any Planning Application.  They will be a Formal Consultee and give an opinion on the impact of housing development. Contact English Heritage and tell them how much you value the Meadows as part of Grade 1 listed Sefton Park.                 

5. FLASH MOB EVENTS. We need a group of enthusiastic people to come to the Meadows at short notice to protest. CAN YOU HELP? Contact Martin Dobson on 07930 760868   

6. A new STATE OF UK PUBLIC PARKS REPORT by Heritage Lottery has been published in June. IT MAKES GRIM READING. Parks & Greenspaces will be lost, or slowly decline due to cuts in budgets to local authorities. Northwest parks are the worst hit in the country. CONTACT HERITAGE LOTTERY to complain that public money they have invested is now being wasted and their great work in Liverpool is being lost.  Tell them about the current threats to Sefton Park Meadows and Woolton Woods.   Sara Hilton is Head of Heritage Lottery NorthWest.  

Please, let us know what actions you are taking to stop the Meadows being sold off.  Time is critical now and we need all the help we can muster! Leave a comment or message on this website or post on Facebook.   THANKS.