Please note, the planning application for this development has been formally withdrawn. We think the reason for the plans withdrawal, was because the council planners had let it be known that they were not going to approve it. Whilst it is good to see the planners and the politicians doing their job properly, continued vigilance is required to deal with whatever the Wiggins Group throw at us next.
The article below which is now obsolete, is being deliberately left here to enable you to comprehend the sheer scale of the danger to our community.
The planning application now before the city council is for outline planning consent to build nearly 1300 dwellings and a retail park on the remaining part of the former Garden Festival site plus the heathland area opposite Bempton Road, to the south east.
The intended retail park is near the Britannia Inn, and the residential developments would be in three parcels, two within the Festival site and the other on the heathland.
Brief details are as follows
Waterfront Parcel 510 Luxury apartments of mixed sizes in blocks of five and six stories on a strip of land adjacent to the prom.
Northern Parcel about 418 dwellings, townhouses and/or apartments (townhouses is estate agents jargon for modern terrace). The apartments are described as 4 and a half story, so really you are looking at 5 floor buildings.
Southern Parcel (on the heathland opposite Bempton Road) some 368 dwellings of three and four floors, a mixture of town houses and apartments.
Letter to Louise Ellman MP
Garden Festival Campaign members delivered the following letter to Louise Ellman at her surgery October 2002. Since then of course there have been some new developments, but the main import of the letter is still highly relevant.
The MP has taken note of our concerns: In the "Liverpool Echo", 18/10/02 she said
" Local people want regeneration, but they wish to preserve green space as part of a new development."
International Garden Festival Campaign
3rd October 2002
Dear Louise Ellman
We wish to express our concerns about Wiggins proposals for the Garden Festival Site and surrounding area. In the local media you expressed your concern about whether Wiggins will deliver on their development plans for the site. While we agree with the sentiments expressed in the article about the disgraceful neglect of the former garden festival site, we feel that Wiggins’ current plans are very seriously flawed. These plans, rather than contributing to the economic and environmental regeneration of the Mersey Waterfront, will irreparably damage what should be one of the jewels in the crown of the proposed Mersey Waterfront Regional Park.
As we are sure you are well aware, the Mersey estuary is by far and away the most important environmental asset in Liverpool; an SSSI, a designated Special Protection Area and a Ramsar site. This is also the only area of undeveloped coastline within your constituency. The Prom is extremely well used by pedestrians and cyclists and this section is the most popular one for recreational users because of the pleasant green aspect and distance from traffic noise, pollution and danger.
Wiggins proposals will remove this semi-natural aspect and replace it with a major road and hotel alongside much of the Prom. These proposals are in clear breach of several aspects of the UDP and of wider national planning guidance on topics such as disturbance of toxic waste, development of undisturbed coastline (PPG20), creation of new roads and biodiversity action plans for urban areas. The Government’s recently released Final report of the Urban Green Spaces Taskforce emphasises:
"-urban regeneration and renewal: helping to improve the quality of projects, creating community enterprise and new jobs;
-health: promoting healthy living and preventing illness, by providing places for physical activities, walking and cycling;
-social cohesion, community development and citizenship: encouraging involvement and local pride by giving people the chance to participate in design, management and care;
-education and life long learning: providing a valuable resource for learning about the natural world and local environment;
-environmental sustainability: countering the pollution which can make cities unbearable and unsustainable, and helping to promote ecologically sensitive towns and cities; and
- heritage and culture: parks and green spaces are reservoirs of collective memory, and provide venues for local festivals and civic celebrations."
The former GFS in potential can ideally fit all of these criteria. In 1999 a consultation was held which obtained considerable response from the local community. Wiggins current plans bear little relationship to the outcome of this consultation exercise and few people know of the current plans. On August 25th, the IGF Campaign set up a stall on the Prom and received 108 signatures within three hours, and we now have 350 members. The people of Liverpool deserve better than these disastrous plans.
The IGF Campaign wishes to participate, with the local community, in the creation of better plans to release the full potential of this important green space in line with the UDP and the aims of the Urban Green Spaces Taskforce as quoted above. We would very much welcome your involvement in enabling this to happen.
Lucy Page, Bryan Scott
The Garden Festival Campaign