Last week Redrow Homes had a consultation exercise on their proposed development of part of Sefton Park. No-one asked them to do this; no-one made them do this bug they chose to do this of their own accord. Presumably on the advice of their highly priced PR consultants Lexington communications they not only held the event but also heavily marketed it throughout the parts of South Liverpool that have bitterly opposed the development of the Park. I am sure that Lexington are getting paid well for this advice!
So as they decided to consult what do they intend to do now? If consultation means anything then those who consult must listen to those who consulted! So what did the people of S Liverpool say? NO! Although some may have ventured in just to check how the site could be developed whilst preserving all the trees (they all have tree preservation orders on them by the way) but person after person made clear that this development is not wanted by the community of Liverpool who want to see their park retained.
I e-mailed yesterday John Tutte the MD of Redrow Homes to ask him his intentions. To date I have had no reply. Of course it would be entirely wrong of Redrow to proceed now. There is no point in consulting if they then ignore what then are told. I warned him that paying expensive London PR consultants who have little or no feeling for Liverpool is not only a waste of money in its own right but a taste of what is to come. We have identified a number of ways to delay and hopefully defeat these proposals. The people of Liverpool will ensure massive expensive over a number of years to make sure that Redrow will NOT make a profit from this green site grab.
It is important that the people of Liverpool unite behind this Sefton Park battle because it is only a starter for 10. The Mayor of Liverpool’s staff have identified green sites across the city as potential sites for housing. The Council’s regeneration department have suggested sites in my own ward which would mean the closure of Beechley Riding for the Disabled Stables, the model railway, Calder Kids Adventure Playground and Harthill allotments. They proposed putting these and other sites like Menlove Gardens in the Local Plan as being suitable for housing.
They claim that there is no need for such sites as green space because nit as many people live in the city as hitherto. It is true that the population has declined and that we no linger have , “Six in a bed at the old Pier Head” but actually we expect better conditions for ourselves and our children and the population is rising.
Some of the new sites proposed for housing in the city have been suggested by Redrow Homes and other builders. Redrow are not the only short term developer that wishes to make a profit out of the long-term degradation of our city.
There is enough brown field land in the city to build homes for 76,000 people. More than enough to keep pace with the rise in population for at least 100 years given other development that is possible. 3 years ago the council gave planning permission for 1,300 homes to be built on the former Garden Festival site. Not a brick has been laid. The so-called Liverpool Waters Development has outline planning permission for at least 5,000 units of accommodation. Peel Holdings have yet to submit a detailed planning application for any of them!
Labour Councillors are refusing to stand up for their constituents preferring to curry favour with the Mayor.
Redrow must come clean now about their intentions on Sefton Park; Labour Councillors must find a backbone to fight against what many of them know is wrong and the people of Liverpool must stand united against the continued attack by Labour’s philistines on our green and pleasant spaces.