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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Redrow public 'consultation' to build over the Meadows

Redrow Homes will be promoting their ideas to build executive housing over Sefton Park Meadows. This exhibition is in advance of their planning application proposals to buy the Meadows from the City Council. All welcome to view their presentation on:

Tuesday 16 September from 2pm to 7pm.
Greenbank Sports Academy
Greenbank Lane
Liverpool L17 1AG

Details of this exhibition will be available online for one day only on 16 September here:

Council public 'consultation' to build over Woolton Woods

Teddy Bears Picnic for Woolton Woods - 31 August 2014

Liverpool City Council has arranged a further public consultation meeting to be held from 6pm on 10 September at St Julie’s School in Woolton. Apparently the feasibility study outcomes may be presented at this meeting.




Turning Green to Brown - 33 portraits in Sefton Park Meadows by John Davies

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

Statement from Save Sefton Park Meadows Campaign

On 26 August, local campaigners vow to save the Meadows after Liverpool City Council announces its choice of Redrow Homes North West as the preferred developer to attempt to secure the essential planning consents before the Meadows are sold and 'exemplar' executive housing is built on the beautiful green space of Sefton Park Meadows. 

Mayor Anderson claims that the Meadows is not part of Sefton Park and therefore he can sell it. But in the 1890's after other plots around Sefton Park were sold for villas, our City Fathers refused to sell the Meadows. Instead they created a spectacular tree-lined sweeping entrance between Sefton Park and Queens Drive - which still remains intact in all it's splendour today. For over 140 years the Meadows has always been enjoyed as part of Sefton Park and is now within a designated conservation area.

Mayor Anderson ignores the plentiful supply of brownfield sites in Liverpool ideal for housing and prefers to destroy our precious green spaces. The Mayor says we need more executive homes but this attack on the Meadows seems to be an excuse to justify selling off green space used by thousands for the benefit of a few ‘executive home’ owners.

Mayor Anderson rejected out of hand the objections of thousands of local residents to the loss of the Meadows. In 2013 the Meadows were included on the City Council’s list of ‘incidental open space’ for possible disposal in order to plug the gap in City finances caused by unfair Tory and Lib Dem budget cuts to Liverpool.

The Save the Meadows Campaign will fight every stage of the planning process and beyond to stop any building development on Sefton Park Meadows. The first priority is to oppose the planning application to be submitted to the City Council by Redrow.

The Chair of SSPM, Ken Aspinall said today: ‘This is an unnecessary and outrageous development and we call on everyone who loves Sefton Park to let Mayor Anderson know what they think and join us in making sure the Meadows remain open to everyone for now and for future generations.’

Background information:

• Open green space and school playing fields in Liverpool have disappeared at an alarming rate in recent years and Mayor Anderson wants to accelerate this trend by building over more of the city's green space. In south Liverpool: Redrow are now building over a 100 of their 'Heritage' houses on the former school playing field now called New Heys in Allerton; the Mayor is also currently formulating plans to build on the green grass of Woolton Woods.

• In the early 1990's when the Meadows were first under threat from building plans, the City Council's then head of planning reported on the Meadowlands: "In ideal circumstances the site should remain as open space, as part of Sefton Park". He also reported that this view was echoed by English Heritage when consulted at the time.

• Although the Meadows is not listed by English Heritage as Grade 1, 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. The Meadows site includes a unique double row of Lime Trees along both sides of Queens Drive: Liverpool's only double avenue of mature trees and a feature worthy of a listing in itself. There is also a spectacular row of Plane Trees planted over 140 years ago on the Mossley Hill Drive side of the Meadows.

• It is understood by SSPM that these trees, despite their age, are in robust good health and pose no danger to the public. It is hoped that the threat of development does not lead to sudden disease or deterioration requiring their removal.

Save Sefton Park Meadows Campaign fund raising launch

The campaign to save the Meadows have launched a 'Fight the Planning Application Fund'. Donations can be made by PayPal from the Campaign web site or the campaign facebook page.

Woolton Woods under threat from school development

Liverpool City Council is going through the motions of a consultation process to develop the public green space between the existing St Julie's School and the High Street in Woolton Village. The choice of all 3 schemes on offer involve replacing the school site with a housing development and shifting the school onto the adjoining green space.

See the consultation plans and schemes here:

Comments can be made by email on before 15 August.

Also see the Save Woolton Woods Facebook page

Sefton Park Meadows - proposals for plans still on hold at beginning of August

At the beginning of May Liverpool's Director of Regeneration said that the preferred developer for the Meadows will be announced in June 2014. 'Therefore any planning application is unlikely to be submitted by the developer before September'. The Meadows has not yet been sold. There will be opportunities to object as soon as a planning application has been announced.

After record numbers of written objections the Mayor went ahead with marketing Sefton Park Meadows for sale. At the beginning of March 2014 Liverpool City Council were discussing development schemes and financial deals with eight developers for the potential sale of this 2.62 hectare public open green space. The sale is dependent on planning permission and so far no plans have been made public.

To protect these historic common grounds the Save Sefton Park Meadows Campaign will be asking for any plans to be 'called-in' for public enquiry. The Campaign have set up a government e-petiton for any planning approval to be called in for an independent review and are encouraging people to sign up now:

Facebook page for Save Sefton Park Meadows

Campaign web site

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

Liverpool's Local Plan - ineffective publicity for consultation

The deadline for Liverpool's Local Plan public consultation was 31 March 2014. This important consultation process was poorly advertised. Very few local people knew they could help shape Local Plans that will become part of the government's 12 year national planning framework.

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.

How to register your response for the Local Plan

Your local authority web site should have a Local Plan page readily accessible - search for 'Local Plan' and the name of your town or city. Many authorities have already completed this public consultation process. If your planning authority has not finalised consultation then you can still contribute to your Local Plan. You may need to register to be able download these consultation documents. Identify a site, such as your local green space or your street or any local community amenity, for potential development or protection.

Alternatively collect forms from your local council offices or for the Liverpool Plan you can use these links:

Liverpool has 3 different forms A, B & C:

Form A (pdf download here) is a simple form to make a quick comment on what you think the Local Plan should contain.

Form B has a number of questions on housing, employment and other types of development.

Form C (document download example here) is for allocating sites for development or identify land to be protected from development. An additional detail of the site on a map, marked in red, is also required for this Form C.

Liverpool Local Plan Proposal Consultation Document (pdf down here)

See the working example in next item:

Local Plan forms to download - from the Meadows Campaign

The Save Sefton Park Meadows Campaign recommends local people to ask the council to protect the Meadowlands from development in the consultation for the Local Plan. A document and map can be downloaded to be filled and sent to Liverpool City Council.

The link below for this particular document is the Local Plan 'Call for Sites Form C' to identify a site to be protected or developed.

You can do this by downloading Form C, completing and sending in the form from this link:,%20form%20c%20-%20call%20for%20sites.doc

You will need to attach a location map to your submission and you can download one here:

Post or email your response to arrive by 5pm on Monday 31 March 2014

Liverpool's Local Plan

Local Plan Proposal Consultation Document (pdf down here)

'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 a small advertisement 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.

If regular users of these spaces were informed of proposed disposals they would be able to act on the potential loss of their right to use public land. By the time the public is aware that public open space is to be commercially developed it is often too late to object if lawful planning permission has already been consented. People have the right to object to their local planning authority if they disagree to a planning proposal at a planning committee.

Most all privatisation schemes attract little interest in the press and media as public open space and park land gradually disappear over extended periods of time or usage changes in subtle ways. 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 have 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 of 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 2 September 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.


2014 news - this page

Meadows Campaign press release

Woolton Woods under threat

Local Plans & the National Planning Policy Framework

How to take part in a Local Plan

Meadows & the Local Plan download documents

Liverpool's Local Plan & Statement of Community Involvement

Sefton Park Meadows - May update

Disposals of public open space

Ground Control

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