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More former school playing fields
dug up for housing
Many former school playing fields are in the process of
being purchased or developed for housing. The loss of school grounds,
many designated green space, do not need to be publicly advertised for
disposal and therefore there is no public consultation over the loss of
this green space. Councils seek permission to decommission school sites
directly from the Secretary of State for Education.
In Liverpool at the beginning of 2016:
Redrow Homes plan to build 22 houses on the former Ernest Cookson Special
School, on Mill Lane in West Derby. Comments for the planning committee
can be made for this planning application, ref. 16F/0083 before the 12th
February 2016, on the Council’s
web site from this link along with details of the devlopment.
Redrow are completing two substantial housing schemes over the former
14-acre New Hayes school site between Mather Avenue and Calderstones Park
with 119 homes.
Redrow have started to build on former Watergate School, opposite St.
Julies School in Woolton Village.
Purchase proposals from Redrow have been submitted for the 6.5-acre site
once home to Redbridge and Bank View High Schools in Fazakerley. Redrow
were authorised to demolish the site last October to bring the project
forward by 6 months.
Redrow expects to start building 60 dwellings on the grounds of Holly
Lodge Girls' College in West Derby this Easter. In December 2015, in spite
of many local objections, approval was given to demolish Holly Lodge House.
The Grade II listed Fremont and Sandheys buildings will be converted for
Palmerston School will be declared surplus to requirements when the school
relocates in the spring of 2017 and planning for this site will commence
at the end of 2016.
There is little evidence in Liverpool to certify, under Section 77
of the School Standards and Framework Act (1998), that existing playing
fields are re-provided when schools are relocated.
Under a Central Government initiative, Mayor Anderson has a £169M
fund to build 12 new schools. Many of the completed new schools that have
playing fields are a fraction of thier original size.
Open Space Study for Liverpool -
final public engagement
As recommended by house builders, a mayoral strategic
green and open spaces review board was established at the
beginning of 2015 followed by public consultation meetings throughout
Liverpool seeking views on parks and open spaces. A Green and Open Spaces
interim report has been published and there were 3 further meetings in
January 2016 for the public to engage and provide feedback on the report.
Liverpool's Local Plan
will establish local planning rules and cultural guidelines for the next
15 years. The final conclusions of this Green and Open Spaces Report will
inform the Local Plan to help shape the greenspace infrastructure of Liverpool
and future allocations of green and open space for housing and other building
The final report is expected to be finalised at the end of March 2016
- enquires about this Review can be made by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 0151 233 7045.
Review of Liverpool parks under
threat in 2016
Campaigns to save the public greenspace of Woolton
Woods Park, Sefton
Park Meadows and Walton
Hall Park are now actively engaged in the fight against private
building development plans and sell-offs.
Woolton Woods Park
On 16 June 2015 Liverpool's Planning Committee approved
extension plans for St Julies school over Woolton Woods Park. Then on
4 September the Council continued with the appropriation and disposal
of Woolton Woods land to deliver the new build school project. In exchange
for 5% of popular parkland the school owners will offer the Council woodland
it does not maintain and can not use.
Sufficient land is available on the existing school footprint for the
St Julies school extension. However, the private school owners, the Sisters
of Notre Dame, want to hold onto 4.37 hectares of school land for a potential
residential land sale.
An historic Public Right of Way runs adjacent to the school boundary sandstone
wall. Does the Council need to legally agree to the diversion of this
Public Right of Way before they can make a full disposal of the public
green space? Will the organisation formed to save Woolton Woods present
a legal challenge with regard to the land covenant by Colonel James Reynolds?
Woolton Woods 8 February 2015 - 150th anniversary of the birth of Sir
who in 1917 "gifted these two open fields to the people of Liverpool".
Sefton Park Meadows
For nearly three years there has been a great deal of
public misinformation and misleading assertions regarding the status,
disposal and so-called beneficial sale of the designated Green Space of
Sefton Park Meadows. The land is officially described in Council bye-law
records as the Meadow Fields of Sefton Park. The Council were mislead
by the advertised disposal notice in early 2013 when Sefton Park Meadows
were described as 'incidental open space'.
Redrow Homes NW, with the full backing of Liverpool Mayor Anderson, intend
to amend and re-submit it's planning application to build housing over
the entire 6.5 acres of the Meadowlands. When a planning proposal is submitted
to the Planning Authority the Campaign to Save
Sefton Park Meadows will present a robust challenge against
any development plans.
more details on Sefton Park Meadows
Sefton Park Meadows - the Meadow Fields dissected by Park Avenue at the
entrance to Queens Drive.
Walton Hall Park
The Friends of Walton Hall Park have been campaigning to
save their park since September 2014 when Everton Football Club confirmed
they wanted to build a new football stadium over the Park. In November
2015 EFC Chief Executive announced to shareholders, "Walton Hall
Park is a fantastic opportunity for this football club and will remain
a key priority for the board." The expectation to acquire this historic
and popular park is made possible by the support of Mayor Anderson and
his powerful rule over the Labour-led Council.
But before any planning proposals are made, according
to a Liverpool Echo report in November 2015, the Club has to raise
£300m. for the project. Will the Board of Everton FC raise the necessary
capital for a new stadium while it still has the support of Liverpool's
The origins of Walton Hall Park date back to 1199. If Everton FC plans
go ahead will English Heritage and it's recently formed planning arm of
Historic England give it's
blessing for the sale of Walton Hall Park - as it did for Grade II listed
Stanley Park when up to half of this historic park was sold to Liverpool
Detail of 1610 map held at The Atkinson, Southport.
Calderstones Park - described as land off Harthill Road
Land Trust Study demonstrates value
of green spaces to society
This recent study found that every pound invested in parks
and nature reserves contributes £30 towards health and wellbeing
benefits and £23 towards crime reduction and community safety.
The national land management charity, the Land Trust, commissioned an
independent study by economic consultants, Carney Green to assess
the value of the green spaces in its portfolio. The study measured the
impact of Land Trust services to identify the value that people place
on their local green space as well as to estimate the financial value
it contributes to the health and social sectors.
Follow these links for more details:
Land Trust Study demonstrates value of green spaces to society
The Carney Green research for The Land Trust 'Perceptions
Survey and Social Value Study' pdf
In brief: Strategic Housing Development
November 2015 Cabinet meeting disclosed the first batch of about 580
new homes for the Strategic Housing Development Programme (SHDP) - which
will be updated again in March 2016. This is part of a 5 year scheme to
provide 1,500 newly constructed homes (many on school grounds & open
space) and a further 1,000 brought back into use.
Cuts to Local Authorities impact on
The Government’s cuts to Local Authorities for local
public services, combined with the lack of statutory protection for open
spaces, are causing real threats to urban greenspace. This is provoking
a growing number of local grass-roots campaigns throughout Britain as
local communities mobilise to defend spaces under threat of neglect, privatisation
At the same time the evidence continues to stack up on the vital and unique
role our parks and greenspaces play for health, biodiversity, flood control,
climate change mitigation, social cohesion and many other essential needs
of all sections of all our communities.
Parks and Playing Fields in Public
(Protection from Sale) Bill 2015-16
A cross-party group of MP's is supporting a Private
Members Bill (Bill 53 pdf) to strengthen protective measures
and to 'require public consultation to be carried out in local areas where
the sale of park or playing field land owned by a public body is proposed;
to require referendums on such proposals in certain circumstances; and
for connected purposes'. A record of the first
reading of Bill 53 at the House of Commons on 13 July 2015 can be read
from this link. The Bill, sponsored by Tom Pursglove MP,
is expected to have its second reading debate on 5 February 2016.
Following pressure from UK greenspace organisations, such as the National
Federation of Parks of Green Spaces, The
Parks Alliance and others, the previous outgoing government
administration recommended that the newly elected Government consider
hosting a National Inquiry into the future funding and management of our
Please sign and promote the UK ‘Save Our Parks’ petition to step
up the pressure on the Government and all political parties to take seriously
the future funding and protection of our vital green spaces.
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Our Ground welcomes any information about your campaign and the loss of
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updated 2 February 2016 © Our
Ground 2007 - 2016
2016 Our Ground news on this page:
Our Ground aims to promote campaigns to save public green
space in Liverpool and beyond.
Losses of greenspace on Merseyside reflect the changes taking place throughout
Britain with public space disposed and sold for private developments.
We are witnessing the disappearance and erosion of our rights to freely
use public space for the health and benefit of all our communities.
Local authorities encouraged by successive UK governments have continued
to sell-off our parks, school playing fields, recreation grounds and public
rights of way in towns and cities throughout Britain.
Stanley Park land privatised
with sports centre demolished