SAVE SEFTON PARK MEADOWS

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


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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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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

 


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Meadows Meets Liverpool Biennial

Turning Green to Brown

John Davies photography exhibition 5 July to 10 August 2014

The Meadows portraits launch night

Thursday 10 July at 6:30pm

Unit 51 Coffee Baltic Creative

49 Jamaica St L1 0

 ALL WELCOME

Turning Green to Brown exhibition

John Davies photography exhibition

During the month of May this year, John Davies spent 90 minutes each day for 10 days in the public green space of the Meadows parkland. He asked a total of 114 adults if he could take their picture. 98 people agreed to have their portraits made to be included in exhibitions to help promote awareness of the potential loss of the Meadows. The Mayor of Liverpool is proposing to sell off Sefton Park Meadows for executive housing.

This is an example of what is happening in local authorities throughout England: assets sold off and services cut to meet the requirements of central government’s austerity measures along with pressure to build housing on green space as a more profitable alternative to building on brown-field sites. A planning application to develop and sell the Meadows will probably be decided by September 2014.

Portraits of people in Sefton Park Meadows, Liverpool – on show at 3 venues across Liverpool:

Quaker Meeting House Cafe, 22 School Lane, Liverpool L1 3BT 
(next to Bluecoat Centre)

Open Monday to Friday 9:00am-5:00pm & 6:00-10:00pm.

Unit 51 Coffee, Baltic Creative, Jamaica Street, Liverpool L1 0AF

Open daily 8:30am-5:30pm or later.

The Old Police Station, 80 Lark Lane, Liverpool L17 8UU
(front entrance)

Open Thursday to Sunday 12:00am-6:00pm.

All portraits will be shown at the Old Police Station on Lark Lane. These will be all together in 2 big frames.

Other venues will have a selection of large prints.

For further details contact John Davies on info@ourground.net     http://www.johndavies.uk.com


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WHAT DO WE DO NEXT?

We are doing really well with this campaign. There has been massive support and we are building excellent local and social media support. But Liverpool Council are still selling off the Meadows. They still want to dig up the most beautiful green space in South Liverpool for expensive, half a million pound houses.

What should we do next?

The Campaign is considering the next steps and how to keep up the pressure over the summer – before the council advertise for developers.

We want your ideas? Visit our Facebook page to post to the campaign group – we meet every week or email Saveseftonparkmeadows@gmail.com

  •  We need ideas to engage more with the public, and ways to attract local media.
  •  We need help from legal people and planning people to map out our next steps.
  • We want good ideas for engaging with national politicians/media.
  • We need ideas for building the network of support

Thank you!


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Meadows is in Sefton Park Boundary, says Joe Anderson

An exchange of emails between formal Lib Dem Councillor Jan Clein and Mayor Joe Anderson has confirmed that the Meadows are within  Sefton Park Boundary.      At the start of our campaign to stop the sell off, Joe stated that they were not. (at the first Regeneration Committee in April, on air with Radio Merseyside and in written answers to campaigners). The land registry title deeds also describe the Meadows as Sefton Park.

The Mayor has called the Meadows ‘Incidental Open Space’ – words which are usually used to describe verges and small bits of land left over from development. This was also used in the Council’s Loss of Open Space Notice. The Meadows are certainly not incidental open space. All of the council’s greenspace reports and open space planning documents list the Meadows as one of the highest value greenspace sites in Liverpool, with the highest category of protection.They are prime parkland, within the historic Sefton Park boundary, within the Sefton Park Conservation Area, and an important part of this great city’s heritage. They provide a huge range of ecosystem services, regulating air, water, pollution, climate – costed by UK govt and European Commission reports at millions of pounds. They are important to health and are an important recreation and amenity space.  NONE OF THIS IS COVERED BY ‘INCIDENTAL OPEN SPACE’.

 

 

 

 

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/victorian-map-should-stop-sefton-4310825

 


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Over 7,000 Petitions to Hand In This Friday

We achieved an incredible  7257 signatures on the Save Sefton Park Meadows petitions. This  shows the huge level of opposition to the Mayor’s plans to build luxury housing on this valuable and outstandingly beautiful  area of Sefton Parklands.

Thanks to everyone who signed and helped collect signatures over the last 3 months.

PLEASE COME AND JOIN US to  hand in the petitions to Mayor Joe Anderson’s Cabinet on Friday 7th June at 8.30 am at the Town Hall. Bring your banners and show your opposition to this shortsighted  and wrongheaded plan!

The campaign group has asked Cllr Sarah Jennings from the Liverpool Green Party, who started the original e-petition, to present the petitions as this is NOT A PUBLIC MEETING like other meetings we have attended and been able to speak at.

Please see the link for more details about the Cabinet Meeting.
http://councillors.liverpool.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=1201&MId=13495