SAVE SEFTON PARK MEADOWS

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


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Public Consultation starts Sept for Housing Sites – New Draft Local Plan

In line with all local authorities across the country, Liverpool is publishing its new Draft Local Plan in September.  This document (formerly the Unitary Development Plan or UDP) aims to set out all of the council’s plans for the city  for the foreseeable future (to 2033). The Draft Local Plan will include housing needs and identify sites for development, as well giving planning protections to areas of the city.

Liverpool’s Draft Local Plan will be published shortly for public consultation for 6 weeks. All of us involved (for many years now) on saving greenspace campaigns can comment on its priorities, recommendations AND most importantly, WE MUST INSIST that our parks and greenspaces are protected from development. YOUR COMMENTS CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE AGAIN.

We will put online the details for you to comment when they are made available.  We will be focussing on submitting comments related to the protection of Sefton Park Meadows.

Councillors have already received the (very long) Draft Local Plan for review and various committees have had briefing reports.  A Mayoral Recommendation of 19 August states the draft Local Plan delivers a number of key priorities, including:

  • A focus on delivering homes on brownfield sites
  • Protecting Liverpool City Parks for the health and well being of the population.

We are informally told that the Draft Local Plan WILL NOT be agreeing to requests from developers seeking the release of greenspace sites for housing:

The Local Plan, based on the evidence of future housing needs in its SHMA has been able to identify enough land to meet housing need to 2033 (the plan period) through a combination of completed homes (built between 2013 and 2016) and existing planning commitments without the need to use green spaces.

In addition:
The recreational function, visual amenity, historic and structural quality and value of the City’s green infrastructure resource will be protected and enhanced. Specifically, protection will be
afforded to:
a. The Green Belt, Green Wedges and the Mersey Estuary SSSI/SPA/Ramsar Site
b. The network of City, District, Neighbourhood and Local Parks
c. Biodiversity assets, including Local Wildlife Sites (LWS) and Local Nature Reserves (LNR)
d. Regionally Important Geological/Geomorphological Sites (RIGS)
e. Locally important open spaces and water courses, including amenity spaces and allotments
f. Playing fields and pitches
g. Recreational routes and the Public Rights of Way network

Several other important documents are also set to be published at the same time, but the dates for their release are not confirmed. We urgently need to see the Strategic Housing Management Assessment (SHMA), Open Spaces Study and Strategic Green & Open Spaces Review Board Final Report to be able to make fully informed comments on the Draft Local Plan. We are pressing for these.

PLEASE WATCH THIS SPACE AND OUR FACEBOOK SITE FOR MORE DETAILS.

Thanks!


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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  greenandopenspaces@liverpool.gov.uk 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.

Thanks!

 


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Question to Liverpool City Council

Chair Ken Aspinall has submitted the following question to the Regeneration, Housing & Sustainability Select Committee, Thursday, 10th September at 5.30 p.m. related to Item 4 on the Agenda:

Q. In view of the withdrawal of 19 areas of green space from the Council’s Call for Sites list, would the Regeneration, Transport and Climate Change Committee confirm that the two sites described as Map ref 125 Queens Drive Mossley Hill, Land (Aigburth Vale) and Map ref 137 Mossley Hill Drive, Land (adj Carnatic Road), together commonly known as Sefton Park Meadows, which are listed for possible development, will undergo an immediate rigorous and transparent review to conclude that Sefton Park Meadows should be removed from the list, as the limited Reasons for Sites to be Withdrawn associated to the 19 withdrawn sites are insignificant when compared to the dozens and dozens of reasons/constraints that exist, and have been communicated in great detail to Liverpool City Council, over the last two and a half years, to protect Sefton Park Meadows from any building development?

If any supporters can attend tonight’s meeting and support the campaign, please do!

Thank you

 


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NEW City Council GreenSpaces Public Survey July 2015

URGENT

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 helen.breen@liverpool.gov.uk or tel 0151 233 3021.”

 

Thank you


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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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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: greenandopenspaces@liverpool.gov.uk

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)

PLEASE ATTEND A MEETING IF YOU CAN, SEND IN YOUR COMMENTS, OR REQUEST TO ATTEND ONE OF THE WORKSHOPS IN APRIL AND MAY.

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

Thank you.

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