Mersey Forest

Croxteth Hall activities

Mersey Valley
Countryside Warden Service

Riverside Drive Community

Friends of St James' Cemetery & Park

Wirral Parks & Countryside

Friends of Croxteth Hall & Park

Liverpool's Parks Hilary Burrage

Wavertree Society

British Trust for Conservation Volunteers North West

Red Rose Forest

Merseyside Biodiversity Group

Griffin Wood St Helens

Friends of Earth North West

Mersey Waterfront

Liverpool Community Environment Network

Merseyside Environment Trust

Save Sefton Park Meadows
facebook page

Liverpool City Council

Parks information

Ranger Service LCC

UDP: "Open Environment" list of parks & green spaces PDF

meetings & agendas:

All committee meetings

Regeneration Select Committee

Environment and Climate Change Select Committee

Langtree's approved plans
for Otterspool Promenade

National & European

Open Space Society

Green Space

Your Parks PDF from Green Space

Green Flag Awards

Fields in Trust

Land Trust


Sport England



DEFRA - town or village greens

English Heritage

European Landscape Convention

European Landscape Convention
icomos-uk PDF

European Landscape Convention - from Natural England web site

European Landscape Convention - a German perspective

Ken Worpole Environmentalist

Anna Minton author Ground Control

John Davies photographer




Otterspool Park





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Liverpool's Local Plan

As part of the consultation process 330 representations were made identifying building land to be considered for Liverpool's Local Plan. Proposals to build over park land include: Allerton Towers Park, Belle Vale Park, Calderstones Park, Croxteth Park, Everton Park, Newsham Park, Sefton Park Meadows, Stanley Park, Walton Hall Park and Woolton Woods Park.

The list below is a selection identifying both greenfield and public space in various Liverpool Wards. Most all of these sites were added by Liverpool City Council's Physical Assets - suggesting the Council are keen to develop these particular sites.

(ha = proposed developable area in hectares, 1 ha = 100 x 100 metres):

Allerton And Hunts Cross:
FL Calder - added by LCC for Housing up to 3.66 ha
Land adjacent to Allerton Priory, and bound by Woolton Road and Allerton Road - for Housing up to 13.55 ha
Land north of Maryton Grange (Stonehouse P.F.) - added by LCC for Residential of 2.2 ha
Allerton Towers Park - added by LCC for Residential of 1.38 ha
School Lane Recreation Ground - added by LCC for Residential of 0.49 ha
Stanley Park (LFC) - for Coach Park for up to 3.41 ha
Townsend Lane/Lower Breck Road - added by LCC for Commercial of 0.14 ha
Belle Vale:
Liverpool Sports Park on Valley Road, Childwall - for Housing up to 3.75 ha
Lyndene Recreation Ground - added by LCC for Residential of 3.16 ha
Caldway Drive Open Space - added by LCC for Commercial of entire site of 0.81 ha
Belle Vale Park - added by LCC for Commercial & Residential of 0.26 ha
Larchwood Neighbourhood Park - added by LCC for Commercial entire site of 1.43 ha
Napps Way, Land - added by LCC for Residential of entire site of 0.33 ha
Victoria Falls Road, land (Former Cross Farm School) - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 2.46 ha
Score Lane Gardens - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 4.14 ha
Menlove Gardens - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 1.37 ha
Harthill Allotments - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 1.54 ha
Harthill Depot, Calderstones Park - added by LCC for Residential of 3.1 ha
Harthill Model Railway, Calderstones Park - added by LCC for Residential of 0.23 ha
Maiden Lane Playing Fields - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 2.13 ha
Cherry Lane Recreation Ground, Walton - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 1.44 ha
Clubmoor Recreation Ground North, Walton - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 1.27 ha
Abingdon Road Playing Fields - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 3.71 ha
Walton Hall Park - for Everton Football Club stadium, size not specified in park of 55.42 ha
Walton Hall Park including Bowls pavilion - added by LCC for Residential of 7.75 ha
Croxteth Park, Land south of Inglewood - for Housing, size not specified in park of 22.62 ha
Unicorn Park near Alt Park - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 0.39 ha
Land north of Parkview Road - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 0.96 ha
Grassed area corner Willow Way & Parkview Road - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 0.19 ha
Parkview Road, land adj Recreation Ground - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 0.33 ha
Donaldson Street Recreation Ground - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 0.48 ha
Whitley Gardens - added by LCC for Residential of 0.48 ha
Radcliffe Public Open Space - added by LCC for Residential of 0.5 ha
Everton Park by Netherfield Road & North-Heyworth Street - added by LCC for Residential of 0.75 ha
Notre Dame Playing Field - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 0.92 ha
Everton Park by Rose Vale, Langrove Street, Roscommon Street - added by LCC for Commercial of 0.32 ha
Everton Park aka China Street Recreation Ground - added by LCC for Residential of 1.3 ha
Seeds Lane Recreation Ground - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 3.59 ha.
Sefton Park Meadows (Park Avenue) - added by LCC in process for Residential entire site of 2.86 ha
Blenheim Street Recreation Ground - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 0.37 ha
Knotty Ash:
Lexham Road Playground - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 0.79 ha
Mossley Hill:
Jericho Lane Playing Field No 1 - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 3.65 ha
Old Swan:
The Green - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 1.26 ha
Princess Park:
Upper Hill Street playground - added by LCC for Residential of 0.17 ha
Speke Garston:
Maintree Crescent Recreation Ground - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 0.48 ha
Land at Oglet - for Airport development of entire site of 118.43 ha
Stapleton Avenue Open Space - for Residential entire site of 2.95 ha
Stapleton Avenue Park (FOP/StA) - for Residential entire site of 2.98 ha
Ancient Mill Wood by Alderfield Drive - added by LCC for Residential of 2.22 ha
St Michaels:
Tramway Playing Fields - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 2.31 ha
Riverside Drive, land including raised car park - added by LCC for Commercial entire site of 0.41 ha
Riverside Drive, land opposite Festival Gardens? - added by LCC for Residential of 0.12 ha
Tuebrook and Stoneycroft:
Newsham Park - added by LCC for Residential of 4.0 ha
New Road Playground - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 0.16 ha
Lister Drive Allotments - added by LCC for Residential of 1.0 ha
Rice Lane Recreation Ground - added by LCC for Residential of 2.0 ha
Olive Mount Playing Field - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 5.01 ha
Sandown Park Playing Field - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 3.02 ha
Private grounds at Woolton Manor, next to Woolton Woods - for Residential of 4.92 ha
Gateacre Comp Old School Playing Field Site - added by LCC for Residential of 7.62 ha
Alderman John Village Gardens - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 3.17 ha
Gateacre Recreation Ground - added by LCC for Residential of 0.9 ha
Woolton Woods Park by High Street - added by LCC for School, under consultation process of up to 3.39 ha
Yew Tree:
Mab Lane Playing Field - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 10.78 ha
Cantril Farm Park (North) - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 0.5 ha
Ackers Hall Recreation Ground - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 1.01 ha

for full detailed list download Item 4 Appendices pdf

The 23 Sept meeting on Liverpool's Local Plan Update was introduced through the Regeneration, Housing & Sustainability Select Committee.

The government's National Planning Policy Framework places importance on community engagement in the development of Local Plans. The Local Plan is meant to give local people a say in how their social and physical environments are shaped over the next 12 - 15 years.

At this stage in Liverpool's draft Local Plan, development sites can not be officially named until the draft is completed sometime around the summer of 2015. The Council will continue to process any development application plans (from the list above) through the existing planning system until the Local Plan is approved, around 2017.

Details of the consultation process can be found in documents from Liverpool's Local Plan update meeting on 23 Sept 2014 particularly Item 4 Appendices pdf listing all potential development sites, housing delivery trajectory, a time line for the implementation of Liverpool's Local Plan and many comments on what the Plan should contain.

Redrow Homes were quoted extensively throughout this report with comments such as: 'the city needs to review its greenbelt and green infrastructure to ensure sufficient land is identified to meet the housing requirement', 'highlights a shortage of sites available for executive, family housing' and 'too much emphasis on brownfield land'.

Other comments in the Local Plan report say the Council has over estimated Liverpool's housing requirement.

The Chair of this meeting refused to take questions from the public or to discuss specific sites. This was the first opportunity for the public to ask questions about Liverpool's Local Plan and therefore the committee failed to put into practice Liverpool's Statement of Community Involvement [SCI] which sets out specifically how the Local Plan should be implemented in Liverpool. The SCI emphasises a proactive engagement and involvement with neighbourhoods and communities in a meaningful way - focusing on information and participation.

It is expected the next Local Plan meeting on 30 October will give the opportunity for the public to ask questions.

See more on the Local Plan here on this page


Redrow public 'consultation' to build over the Meadows

Redrow Homes promoted their ideas to build executive housing over Sefton Park Meadows in a one day exhibition on 16 August at Greenbank Sports Academy. Initial design plans are online here: Comments on these plans are accepted online up until 23 September.

A spokesperson for Redrow has said that their final development plans will be available on their web site two weeks before they are considered by Liverpool's planning committee.

Redrow's planning application proposals to buy the Meadows from the City may be presented to the Council by the end of October 2014. The sale of the Meadows is dependent upon successful planning permission.

The campaign to save Sefton Park Meadows have launched a 'Fight the Planning Application Fund'. Donations to help fund professional expertise, to make legal objections to these plans, can be made by PayPal from the Campaign web site or the campaign facebook page.

In 2013, after the Council received record breaking numbers of written objections, the Mayor went ahead with marketing Sefton Park Meadows for sale. In August 2014 Redrow was announced as the Council's preferred developer for the potential sale of this 2.62 hectare public open green space.

More details about the Meadowlands disposal from Our Ground 2013 news page


Development designs may change before Redrow presents it's planning application to the Council this October.


Statement from Save Sefton Park Meadows Campaign

Redrow leads the way in persuading Councils to part with green space for housing.
Liverpool City Council and their selected preferred development partner Redrow Homes are trying to persuade the people of Liverpool that it's in our best interest to sell Sefton Park Meadows for housing.
• Redrow has hired the UK's top PR and communications agency (Lexington Communications) to organise a 'public consultation' on 16 September, alongside a campaign supporting plans to build over Sefton Park Meadows. The agency are specialist media manipulators, shaping public opinion to solve 'problem issues' and winning support for new developments.
• Redrow leads the way in persuading Councils to part with public green space for their houses. Redrow's housing tycoon boss, Steve Morgan, claimed that it's pointless protecting "tatty land" and the residential market's biggest problems for building over green space were "sheer bureaucracy" in the planning system and "nimbyism, which is alive, well and thriving".
The Chair of the SSPM campaign said:

"We will robustly oppose these plans to sell off our valuable green space used by thousands for the benefit of a few ‘executive home’ owners".

"Liverpool's mayoral led authority is joining forces with Redrow to build over our treasured green and pleasant land".

• Labour Councillors have said the Meadows are hardly used and only used for dog fouling. From recent research records it has been calculated that the Meadows attracts over 20,000 adult visitors each year with dog owners representing 20% of walkers. Most people use this green space for relaxation, recreation and exercise.
• In the early 1990's the City Council's then head of planning reported that the Meadowlands "should remain as open space as part of Sefton Park" - a view echoed by English Heritage at the time. But since then the political landscape has changed with the Meadows excluded from English Heritage's grade 1 listing of Sefton Park. Last year the Council 'un-parked' the Meadows by advertising the land at Park Avenue as ‘incidental open space’ for disposal, even though within a designated conservation area. This proposed disposal received the highest recorded number of written objections sent to Council planners.
• Édouard André, who designed Sefton Park at the end of the 1860's, would have overseen the planting of rows of trees on the Meadowlands to fit into the design and setting of the rest of Sefton Park. This June, tree specialists carried out a tree survey over the Meadows and they confirmed that the magnificent row of Plane Trees on Mossley Hill Drive were planted over 140 years ago. Liverpool's unique double row of Lime Trees at the entrance of Queens Drive also dates from the same period.

Sefton Park Meadows double row of Lime trees on Queens Drive

'Turning Green to Brown' - Meadows portraits exhibition

96 portraits of people using Sefton Park Meadows made within 15 hours over 10 days in May. The final part of the exhibition has been extended:

until 25 October 2014

Quaker Meeting House Cafe
22 School Lane
Liverpool L1 3BT
next to Bluecoat on ground floor
open Monday to Friday 8:30am-5:00pm Saturday 9:00-5:00pm.


Turning Green to Brown - the book of 33 selected portraits in Sefton Park Meadows by John Davies

click on arrows for viewing pictures full screen.
The £2 profit on each sale of this book is donated to the Save Sefton Park Meadows Campaign fund.


Stadium plans for Walton Hall Park

Mayor Joe Anderson is a big supporter of Everton Football Club and on the 16 September Everton's plans of building a bigger stadium on a new site at Walton Hall Park were finally made public by the City Council. Over the next few weeks a 1,000 local homes will receive letters inviting them to consultation events to view plans of a new stadium building complex over the public open space of Walton Hall Park.

Also in the same week Councillors will visit Liverpool FC, on Stanley Park, to see building expansion plans to increase the football stadium's capacity along with a new coach park.


Council public 'consultation' to build over Woolton Woods

Teddy Bears Picnic for Woolton Woods - 31 August 2014

Liverpool City Council arranged a further public consultation meeting on 10 September at St Julie’s School in Woolton. The campaign to save the public green space are not against the school but want to present other options rather than building over any part of Woolton Woods Park. The City Council and school leaders are trying to gain public opinion to break a covenant protecting the park land from developments - the covenant allows for some recreation facilities.

Campaigners believe Mayor Joe Anderson wants to build a new school over park land so that the old school site becomes available for house building and generate income for the City.

For more details and future meetings see:


Liverpool's Local Plan - ineffective publicity for consultation

The recent nationwide 'Localism' consultation was intended to encourage all communities and people throughout England to help form their own Local Plans - the basis for future local authority planning. And for everyone to have the opportunity to have a say in how their social and physical environments are shaped over the next 12 years.

Central Government's rhetoric for this radical new Localism Act was initially widely criticised in the press. By the time active consultation plans came into force in 2013 there was little national or local media coverage of the Local Plan's significance in empowering people to help shape their local surroundings. There was also a failing of both central and local governments to promote Local Plans to a wider public. Property developers and speculators would have not missed the opportunity to complete the necessary Local Plan forms.

In the whole of Liverpool, a total of 117 forms were returned for the Local Plan Public Consultation. The deadline in Liverpool was the 31 March 2014. The Liverpool Local Plan will eventually become part of the government's 12 year national planning framework.

Liverpool's breakdown of numbers for completed forms A, B & C:

48 - Form A is a simple form to make a quick comment on what the Local Plan should contain.

19 - Form B relates to questions on housing, employment and other types of development.

50 - Form C is for allocating sites for development or identify land to be protected from development.

The government's National Planning Policy Framework places importance on community engagement in the development of Local Plans. Individuals and neighbourhoods could have voiced their views to help shape local authority planning rules by registering any land or place that people can identifying as a local amenity or important for a Local Plan. Once agreed, Local Plans will radically change the way local authorities can give planning permission.

Liverpool made the Local Plan consultation documents available at the end of last year. At this time many other planning authorities had already completed their public consultation.

The Government aim is for every area to have a clear local plan which sets out local people's views of how they wish their community to develop, consistent with the framework and against which planning applications for planning permission will be judged.

The National Planning Policy Framework is a key part of the government’s reforms to make the planning system less complex and more accessible.

'This should be a collective enterprise. Yet, in recent years, planning has tended to
exclude, rather than to include, people and communities. In part, this has been a
result of targets being imposed, and decisions taken, by bodies remote from them.
Dismantling the unaccountable regional apparatus and introducing neighbourhood
planning addresses this

The Minister for Communities and Local Government goes on to say:

The purpose of planning is to help achieve sustainable development. Sustainable
means ensuring that better lives for ourselves don’t mean worse lives for future
generations. Development means growth. Sustainable development is about change
for the better, and not only in our built environment.

Our natural environment is essential to our well being
and it can be better looked after than it has been

This policy framework is a requirement of the Localism Act - the Act was born out of the European Landscape Convention.

Liverpool City Council announced:

'It is the Council’s intention to prepare a Local Plan and to encourage representations
on what it should contain. This provides an opportunity for neighbourhoods, local
organisations and businesses to help shape the Plan’s content

Liverpool's Statement of Community Involvement (pdf down here)

'It is important that people have the opportunity to be involved and influence decision

'Early and meaningful engagement and collaboration with neighbourhoods, local
organisations and businesses is essential. A wide section of the community should be
proactively engaged, so that Local Plans, as far as possible, reflect a collective vision
and a set of agreed priorities for the sustainable development of the area, including
those contained in any neighbourhood plans that have been made

Disposals of public open space

In Britain local planning authorities (local Councils) can sell-off the public land we collectively own and are only required to publicise these disposals by placing small advertisements in a local newspaper once a week for two weeks. There is currently no centralised resource of freely available information regarding the disposal, sale and privatisation of public open space.

No public notices are required to be placed in or by the actual public land to be privatised.

The public have the right to object to their local planning authority if they disagree to a planning proposal. Actions to make are to send written legal objections to the appropriate planning officer well in advance of a planning committee meeting.

Most all privatisation schemes attract little interest in news media. Public open space and park land gradually disappear over extended periods of time or usage changes in subtle ways. School playing fields are now mostly privately owned and development plans for this type of land attracts little attention. In rare circumstances a planning application is 'called in' for a Public Enquiry but these are often balanced in favour of the commercial developer who has the financial resources to employ professional legal expertise.

During 2010 different central government departments had conflicting views over the value of public open green space. Some encourage local councils to sell off public land where others see the same public open space as an essential part of the urban infrastructure for a wide range of environmental, social and economic objectives and activities.


click on image to see views of Chavasse Park from 2004 to 2008

The catalyst for the Our Ground project was the privatisation of the public open space of Chavasse Park and 34 adjoining streets for the 'Liverpool One' extensive retail and mixed use development. The developer, Grosvenor Estates, effectively owning a private estate of 42.5 acres in central Liverpool with a 250 year lease.

Ground Control

As part of this project in 2009 Our Ground worked with the writer Anna Minton providing photographs for the Penguin book Ground Control. This book is about regeneration, security and the privatisation of public space.

Read Anna Minton's pdf What kind of world are we building? The Privatisation Of Public Space.

Add news and information to this site

Our Ground welcomes any information about the loss of public open space. Please send your information about parks, playing fields and other public open spaces to

all photographs © John Davies 2007 - 2014


site last updated 26 September 2014


news on this page

Redrow's Meadows

Save Sefton Park Meadows Campaign press release

Woolton Woods under threat

Walton Hall Park stadium plans

Local Plan & Statement of Community Involvement

Disposals of public open space

Turing Green to Brown

Ground Control

updated 26 Sept 2014

Since 2006 Our Ground has reported on the continued loss of public open space - with land disposed and sold-off for private building developments.

What is now happening in Liverpool reflects the changes taking place throughout Britain.

The gradual disappearance of our urban and green space through privatisation schemes is effecting cultural change with the erosion of our right to freely use public open space and public amenities.

Local authorities encouraged by successive UK governments have continued to sell-off our streets, parks, playing fields, open space and public rights of way in towns and cities throughout Britain.

2013 news

Meadowland Campaigners replace notices after Council removal

Mayor 'bully-dozers' Sefton Park Meadows for marketing

'NIMBY NIMBY NIMBY' Mayors shouts at public gallery

Liverpool starts to prepare a Local Plan for future planning rules

SHLL building sites

2012 news

Forest Estate - final report

Festival Gardens opening 23 June

Survey for private public space

Forest Estate - Privatisation

Festival Garden background

Neighbourhood Parks cuts

New - Port Sunlight River Park

Occupy Liverpool & London

'Big Society' Localism Act

Land Trust call for land

Dixie Dene Playing Fields
now a private development

2011 news

Our Ground at the Bluecoat art gallery

Garden Festival Site update

English Forests and Woodlands privatisation

Priory Wood

2010 news

Festival Gardens AGM and new park

Liverpool's mess in Stanley Park

Otterspool Park land sold

Work starts on Festival Gardens Park

Campaign web site lost

'Dutch Farm' green space sold

The Value of Urban Parks

Sefton Park Lake

2009 news

Otterspool Park Privatisation and open letter of objection to City Council

NWDA fund Festival Gardens Park

Festival Gardens sewage disaster

Liverpool's Year of the Environment 2009

Springfield Park Privatisation

Stanley Park and privatisation plans

Sefton Park cafe deadlock

Tate "5th floor" debate

Festival Gardens & Promenade

Millbank Playing Fields Privatisation

2008 news

Secretary of State gives go-ahead for Festival Gardens scheme

Festival Gardens Public Inquiry ends

Anfield - new design for LFC

U-boat U532 moved to Woodside Ferry Terminal

Biennial Pavilions

Brief history of Stanley Park

Stanley Park privatised &
sports centre demolished

2007 news

Otterspool Promenade Privatisation Disposal

Garden Festival Site Inquiry

Campaign & call for Inquiry

Stanley Park Privatisation & Stadium

Stanley Park Restoration

Millbank Playing Fields Privatisation

Parks Forum

Village Green protection status

Princes Park

Sefton Park

Dixie Dean Memorial Playing Fields Privatisation inquiry

Speke Park Privatisation and Speke Parade

Walton Hall Park