Lydiate – The 1965 award winning houses in Seafore Close

Lydiate’s 1965 Civic Trust Award winning Seafore Close

There is at least one other local Civic Trust Award winning development/building in Sefton Borough – Formby Swimming Pool (see 1st photo below) – but if there are others they are not presently not known to me. If you wish to let me know of others I would be pleased to hear from you.

Civic Trust Award Winning Formby Swimming Pool

The concrete plinth with the Civic Trust Award plaque affixed to it. You can see it as you enter Seafore Close from Southport Road Lydiate.

And here’s a closer look at the Award plaque:-

The houses are clearly of a unique design and I like them but the fact that they won a nationally prestigious award is what makes them an important part of Lydiate’s history.

I Googled the Civic Trust Award looking for details of the award but their web site does not seem to cover awards given so far back – 52 years! I realise that the timber and asbestos (wrong – see update below) construction will be what makes them unique but am looking for more detailed background to the award.

Here’s a link to the Civic Trust Award web site:-

www.civictrustawards.org.uk/

Civic Trust Awards started in 1959 but the Seafore Close, Lydiate award details are seemingly not presently accessible from the web site. On that basis I have twice recently sent enquiries to the web site for the details, but so far no one has come back to me as the site indicates will happen when enquiries are made.

I hope, therefore, to be able to update this posting when I do manage to track down the full award details. Of course, it could well be that folks out there, particularly people who may have lived in the properties, hold the award details and if so I would be delighted to hear from them.

Click on any of the photos to enlarge them

Update from Seafore Close resident Wendy Greener – They are not asbestos but made of a strong composite called, I think. Swedes board. They are a Swedish fabrication and this shows mostly in the drainage all being internal, no external guttering or pipes unless added later. This was designed for Sweden’s cold winters to prevent pipes freezing. The houses are surprisingly spacious, lots of light and very warm and soundproof. We have a B rating EPC. We also have a sunny garden down to the canal and wonderful views. I love my home.

Maghull – Station land development starts

Land behind Maghull Station. Looking towards Melling Lane with the station platform building visible on the right.

The land behind the Liverpool bound platform of Maghull Station, that is also backed onto by houses in Grange Park and Hurst Road, has been cleared seeming for development to start.

Planning permission was given quite some time ago for a small housing development after years of tussling between potential builders/land owners and Sefton Council’s Planning Dept.

I recall that a previous attempt to cut down trees on the site some 20 years ago led to environmental objections to the felling. But things have moved on, rightly or wrongly depending on your point of view, and it seems that the land will soon be a building site.

View from Station platform looking towards Hurst Road

Maghull Square – What’s going on?

media.rightmove.co.uk/130k/129391/59420108/129391_13to14CentralSquareMaghullLPQ_DOC_02_0000.pdf

The link above to an on-line property brochure for Maghull Square is interesting although it must predate HSBC closing obviously.

If I had a £1 for every time someone has asked me where Home Bargains are moving to I really would be retiring on a good pension. This seems to be an issue that people really want an answer to.

From this brochure it looks like one of the new units that is presently being built in the left hand corner of the Square. BUT persistent rumours say that this is no longer the case and that Home Bargains are going to the new retail building under construction on the site of the old Maghull Library/Stafford Moreton Youth Centre. And others are even speculating on Home Bargains not moving at all but just expanding into the former HSBC unit next door since that bank recently pulled out of Maghull.

Which option is right? Well as the staff who work in Home Bargains Maghull branch don’t seem to know then it seems the guessing game will be doing the rounds for a while yet.

What’s also interesting in the on-line brochure is the cost of a retail unit in the Square. Goodness me these figures must be well out of reach for many a small business. They may not be out of line with other similar retail areas but where does a small business get that sort of money each year?

I recall when the Square had many independent business in the 60’s and 70’s but now it is dominated by regional and national outfits. Times they are a changing.

With thanks to John for the lead to this story

Great divides? Community boundaries – Mean a lot, mean a little?

I have often pondered on boundaries especially those associated with local government. What forms a boundary, why was it chosen and who chose it?

Here are two boundaries close to my Lydiate home. One is with Maghull and the other with Aughton:-

Maghull Brook - On the left Lydiate (and me) - on the right Maghull.

Maghull Brook – On the left Lydiate (and me) – on the right Maghull.

Sudell Brook - On the left Lydiate - on the right Aughton

Sudell Brook – On the left Lydiate – on the right Aughton

In both cases the boundary is obviously a stream and this can often be the case with local government boundaries where watercourses have been chosen to divide communities up.

The boundary between Maghull and Lydiate simply divides the two Civil Parishes of Lydiate and Maghull and the only real obvious difference this creates is the amount of Council tax or Precept that the residents of these two communities pay to either Lydiate Parish Council or Maghull Town Council. Both Civil Parishes are in Sefton Borough and both are a part of the Liverpool City Region/Merseyside.

The Lydiate – Aughton boundary is of far greater significance though as it is all but an invisible barrier rather than a boundary because Aughton Civil Parish is in West Lancashire Borough and the County of Lancashire. The world does not look any different on either side of Sudell Brook but in fact it is as the Sefton Borough – West Lancashire boundary has, since 1974, become a local government barrier. Why you can almost hear senior council officers saying ‘we are a Metropolitan Borough [Sefton] and they are just a County’ and of course the reverse will apply too. Sadly, whilst I may well be exaggerating here the reality is that since 1974, in local government terms, Sefton’s communities and those in West Lancashire have mainly planned for their futures in glorious isolation – a great divide indeed.

Considering the massive boundary between West Lancashire and Sefton you would think there would be a huge amount of cross-border co-operation and planning for the joint communities. You would think so but I assure you there is not.

I recall during my time as Leader of Sefton Council I went to Ormskirk to meet the Leader of West Lancs Council to try to kick-start closer working relationships but it seems that those who followed us have not developed things further. What sense does separate transport planning in the two Boroughs make? Environmental protection issues must be similar surely? Health issues surely do not stop at a stream do they? Why we even have an NHS Hospital Trust on split between Southport and Ormskirk either side of the great divide.

I recall when Sefton and West Councils were planning for building on the Green Belt and on the highest grade of agricultural land in England that I started to ask questions about how closely the two two planning departments were sharing and consulting each other. The answers I got were hardly an example of close cooperation in my eyes and I wondered if the contact was little more that phone calls with one side saying ‘we are doing X’, ‘well we are doing y’, ‘OK speak again next year maybe’.

The bottom line is that Merseyside and Lancashire are very different worlds in local government terms. Is this something that is hammered into local government officers from an early age akin to religious indoctrination? Whatever the case it is very much to the disadvantage of communities which are near to a significant local government boundary in my view.

Green Belt loss – Advice that missed the point?

I arrived late for the January Lydiate Parish Council Neighbourhood Planning meeting but in time to hear a Labour Parish Councillor giving Independent Sefton Councillor Pat O’Hanlon (who represents western Maghull & Lydiate) the benefit of his advice.

Incidentally the Labour Parish Councillor giving the ‘advice’ lost in last May’s Sefton Council elections to the very person he was advising.

The thrust of the advice, as I heard it, was all about why Labour-run Sefton Council had to have a Local Plan and why that plan had ended up meaning that Green Belt and high grade agricultural land would end up being built upon.

But what struck me was not the opinion being given but that it missed a quite crucial point out. The point being that Labour had made it very clear that they were going to defend/protect the Green Belt, indeed they put up posters and Labour councillors were photographed for the press holding up slogans about how they were going to save the Green Belt in Sefton Borough. Here’s one such poster:-

Labour poster displayed in Lydiate - October 2013 - how much must Labour be regretting put these posters up because they voted on Sefton Council to build on the Green Belt!

Labour poster displayed in Lydiate – October 2013 – how much must Labour be regretting put these posters up because they voted on Sefton Council to build on the Green Belt!

The reason Labour came unstuck in Maghull/Lydiate and Formby in the 2016 local elections was because they said one thing and then did another in the eyes of the electorate i.e. saying they would protect the Green Belt but then voting to build on it.

Goodness me I saw my own former Party leader throwing away our opposition to Tuition Fees when we had campaigned to oppose them so I know only too well what it feels like and indeed should feel like when the electorate catches up with you. Are Labour yet to learn that lesson?

Port of Liverpool – The two road only options on the table

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/port-traffic-route-headache-option-12556835

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above

This is a matter which I have been blogging about for a long time now and I still feel angry about it.

A classic cart before the horse situation if ever I saw one. The new Liverpool 2 River Berth catering for massive Post Panamax container ships is planned, constructed and completed before any serious thought is given as to how the increased freight is going to get to and from it. You really could not make this up as a planning absurdity but that’s pretty much what has happened.

Liverpool 2's massive new container cranes

Liverpool 2’s massive new container cranes

The A5036 route that links the Port of Liverpool at Seaforth with the motorway network at Switch Island is presently the only/major corridor for freight moving to and from the Port. It’s congested, at busy times the capacity is insufficient to cope with the traffic wanting to use it and there are already big concerns about air pollution from the diesel powered HGV’s that thunder up and down it. What’s more the A5036 is hemmed in by residential areas along significant parts of it.

As I have said before there are two options on the table from Highways England, either increase the capacity of the A5036 or build a new road right down the middle of Rimrose Valley Country Park! As if either option is credible and the plans seem to pit residents who live around the A5036 against residents who live either side of the Rimrose Valley.

And what has Sefton Council been doing? And where’s on earth is Network Rail? Between the two of them the best you can say is hiding behind the sofa!

Why has making new rail connections with the port seemingly been forgotten? Where’s the community leadership from Sefton Council?

This is indeed a dogs breakfast of a mess and the people left to pick up the pieces (and the air pollution) are the residents living in Netherton, Litherland, Crosby and Seaforth.

The present consultation on a road only solution needs to be brought to an end and only reconsidered when every possible rail freight possibility has been put in place.