SAVE SEFTON PARK MEADOWS

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


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Campaign Banners Go Back Up

Banners OK Lawful postersOur Save Sefton Park Meadows posters are back up on the site! And just in time, as the Meadows will be marketed from Monday 2nd December 2013 to potential developers. After an angry exchange with Chief Executive Ged Fitzgerald, who instructed his council’s grounds maintenance firm Amey to remove our campaign banners  a few weeks ago, we welcomed the Liverpool  Echo  to photograph us putting them back up. Ged Fitzgerald said he had received public complaints and that the campaign was  in danger of committing ‘ common law trespass’ by putting advertising up without permission on council assets.

Campaigner Janet Pell immediately write to the CEO to ask for clarification and lodge a formal protest that this was preventing lawful democratic opposition to one of the most controversial proposals from the Council. Using posters on the Meadows was one of the few available visible campaign activities that local people have to show opposition and gather public support. The recent Public Meeting confirmed Janet’s opposition.

Cllr Richard Kemp of the Lib Dems then contacted the CEO to request details of the complaints and to see details of the council logs.  To date, this has not been forthcoming. Cllr Kemp and Green Party councillors John Coyne and Sarah Jennings have given their support and Cllr Kemp invited the Echo to join us to put posters back up on Friday 29th Nov. We expect this to be published in the Echo on Sat 30th Nov or Mon 2nd Dec.

Despite our requests, the campaign to save the Meadows has not been formally notified of the Marketing date or details. We are pressing for these and will make them available on the website and Facebook page.


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Dear Joe…

Liverpool people are very adroit when they have something to say;

They believe in their past, know their history will last, It’s something which won’t get away.

So when threats to their treasures, to suit political measures,

The population all speak with one voice;

It’s the will of the masses, which nothing surpasses,

There really is no other choice.

Yes, today’s word is ‘green’, it’s on everyone’s lips;

The meadows at Aigburth are green;

To alter that space would be a public disgrace;

The word which describes it – OBSCENE.

By local resident Jim Baxter


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Packed Public Meeting Demands Rethink

Public Meeting Andre map What Next?A packed Public Meeting  called again for Liverpool City Council to rethink its decision to advertise Sefton Park Meadows  to developers as a potential site for luxury housing. Over 120 local people  came to show their anger and frustration that the Council  has overruled 1,300 written objections and an e-petition of over 7,200 people.  It has become clear the the decision to sell  has come from Mayor Joe Anderson and  the Public Meeting are calling on him and the Council to draw back from  selling one of the most valuable conservation area and heritage greenspaces in the city.

Local people were brought up to date with new historical research by ex-univerity lecturer John Middleton showing Edouard Andre’s final design for Sefton Park did not include villa development on the Meadows, and that the City Council specifically refused to accept bids for housing on this site at the time.  John also revealed research work on the original tree plantation design around the Meadows, which closely mirrors the design for trees across Sefton Park by Andre as detailed in his landscape handbook ‘L’Art des Jardins’.

Local people at the meeting were clear in their views that the Meadows IS part of Sefton Park, has historic, aesthetic, ecological and cultural value and should be withdrawn from sale.  Many ideas came out of the meeting to press the Council to back down.  The campaign group will take as many of these forward as they can AND asked local people to do their bit to keep up the pressure on the council.

Check our Facebook page for reaction to the Public Meeting and have your say!


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Meadows heritage design revealed at Public Meeting Wed 13th Nov

JohnMiddletonSefton Park Meadows campaigners will be revealing original Park landscape maps showing the Victorian designer’s final intention to keep the Meadows as open space.  
PUBLIC MEETING – 7pm  Wed 13th Nov
RATHBONE ROOM, GREENBANK ACADEMY, GREENBANK LANE ( BY SEFTON PARK ) L17 1AG
Come and find out more, as well as an update on the campaign’s renewed battle with Liverpool City Council to oppose any planning application for housing development.
Retired university lecturer John Middleton will be showing the results of his research into council documents which demonstrate that Edouard Andre intended to keep Sefton Park Meadows as Green Open Space.
He has discovered:-
– A map dated 1875 by Edourd Andre showing the final Sefton Park design,  the plots of land for sale and the plots already sold. The Meadows are shown clearly to have no plots for sale.
– That offers to buy the meadows between 1879 and 1890 were rebuffed by the Parks and Improvements Committee of the City Council because they always wanted to keep it as open grassland.
The Map and copies of the original council meeting minutes will be available at the public meeting.
Mayor Anderson has argued that there was always an intention to build on the Meadows, and publicised an earlier Andre map drawn in 1867 for the Sefton Park competition to win the contract . It was revised to the later, finalised maps, which were used to actually construct Sefton Park.
John is also researching the case that the Meadows themselves were actually part of the Park design by the world renowned Parisian landscaper Edouard Andre.  John will show how the way its trees were planted is exactly the design style recommended in Andre’s own  handbook “L’Art des Jardins”.
This information has been passed  to English Heritage and they are currently assessing it along with our application to extend the Grade 1 listing to the Meadows. We are clear that the Meadows has the same international heritage value and is part of Sefton Park.


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Sign up to our new govt e-Petition

Joe Anderson and Labour councillors have overruled every single policy to protect parks and greenspaces in Liverpool, and ignored massive local opposition from us as council tax payers and voters. Within a few weeks, adverts will go from this Council to ask developers to bid for Sefton Park Meadows  with proposals to concrete it over for expensive, upmarket housing.

We have started a NEW GOVERNMENT E-PETITION – to get any planning approval called in for an independent review by a planning inspector –  who is not part of the Council.  PLEASE SIGN UP AND HELP US GET PROPER SCRUTINY OF WHAT JOE IS DOING TO SEFTON PARK MEADOWS.

This is an historic area of Liverpool, part of the rich parklands heritage we all own  and it belongs to us. The Council hold this land in trust, like other high value parks and greenspaces in the city, for ALL LIVERPOOL RESIDENTS  and future generations.  ONCE IT’S GONE, IT’S GONE FOREVER!

Read our Meadows Autumn News


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Grade 1 Application in Progress

Campaigner John Middleton has applied to English Heritage for the Meadows to be granted Grade I listed status.  John maintains that they form “the last remnants of a  green cordon of grand boulevards, which connected the Ring of Parks enacted by Liverpool City Council in 1862.”

He goes on,  “The Meadows are part of the 19th century plan for a Ring of Parks and they lead to the next link, Calderstones Park. The Queens Drive entrance to Sefton Park are a deliberately designed, beautiful and sweepingly graceful entrance to the Park and should be given the same protection as the already listed, stone gate entrances at Sefton Park Rd (leading to Princes Park) and Aigburth Vale (leading to Otterspool).

We have asked English Heritage to fast track consideration of this application, ahead of any planning application from a housing developer.  We are also emphasising the distinctive grand design of its double row of lime trees that protected a broad walk, and used to go right around Queens Drive. This can be seen in photos from 1906 at Queen Drive in Walton, before the trees were felled to make way for the dual carriageway.

Double Lime Trees

Distinctive double  row of lime trees


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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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Record 1,200 Formal Objections Handed In

We achieved a record 1,200 formal objections to Liverpool council’s Notice of Loss of Open Space, which Liverpool council are cynically using to try and sell off Sefton Park Meadows.  We handed our objections personally to Nick Kavanagh, Director of Regeneration(!) and the Regeneration Committee meeting on Thurs 13th June.  We were allowed 5 mins to speak. Nick Kavanagh stated again that this Land Disposal process does not require any discussion of the Meadows’ huge environmental values, heritage character, or loss of amenity – this will have to wait until a planning application is submitted.

Yet if the Meadows had been listed from April 2012 to March 2013 in their own formal assessment of sites being considered for housing or development (their Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment – known as SHLAA), this would have required formal assessment of the Meadows by an external consultant, then scrutiny by local councillors and local residents over several months.  Strangely, the Meadows was not listed –  but suddenly in March this year became a site to be sold for development – no process of consultation required, just a council vote along party lines,a tiny advert in the back pages of the Daily Post and 3 weeks to write in?!

Well, Mayor Anderson, Cllr Malcom Kennedy and Director of Regeneration, we have done this in huge numbers! Your own council e-petition supporting the sale has so far recorded 58 supporters.  Can you do the maths?


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HURRY UP! 2 Days Left to send in Your Objections

You have another 2 days to send in objections to the  selling off Sefton Park Meadows by Liverpool City Council. Deadline is 10am Friday 14th June 2013. We have over 1,000 objections so far and want to achieve a target of one of the highest number of objections to a loss of open space that the council has received if we can. 

We also presented over 7,000 petitions to the council last Friday.

The campaign to stop the sale of our beautiful and valuable Sefton Park Meadows – part of the Sefton Parklands is NOT A DONE DEAL!

Email Legal.Planning@liverpool.gov.uk or send in to Property & Regeneration Team, Room 208 Municipal Buildings, Dale Street, Liverpool L2 2DH.  QUOTE PRT/TIG/PARK AVENUE

You can also download and print off a letter  and send in. Or use our electronic version of the letter to write in your comments and send direct to the council.

PLEASE SEND US A COPY OR LET US KNOW YOU HAVE WRITTEN IN TO OBJECT.   Email us at   SaveSeftonParkMeadows@gmail.com

Thanks – let’s show Mayor Anderson and his Cabinet they can’t sell off valuable and historic Liverpool public open space around Sefton Park without a fight!


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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