Lydiate – A lot of folk at Parish Council meeting to hear about a leisure/sporting facility being proposed

Last Tuesday’s Lydiate Parish Council meeting was a full house so to speak as over 30 residents from the Hall Lane/Southport Road area turned out to hear a presentation to the Council from a local landowner who wants to develop outdoor leisure/sporting facilities on what is presently agricultural land in Green Belt off these roads.

It had not been intended as public presentation by the land owner but as word got around of the presentation locals turned out in force from what is a sparsely populated rural part of Lydiate Civil Parish.

We were told that the land owner wanted to diversify and use the 22 acres of land for water sports activities, nature reserve, mountain bike track, zip wire etc. Access would be off Southport Road with a car park on the site. A pre-planning application had been submitted to Sefton Council in late 2017 and the owner said he had been asked to provide evidence of support and need for the facility.

Soil taken from creating the lakes would be used on site to mound up the mountain bike track around 1m. The present idea is that the site would potentially attract up to 200 visitors on a good summer day with a charge of around £5 for access to what seems to be planned to be an unfenced site. Not much winter use is envisaged and no floodlighting is planned. Over a year 15,000 to 20,000 people visiting the facility seems to be envisaged.

The facility would be run by a staff of around 6 people engaged with training, maintenance and water sports supervision.

I think it fair to say that the developer’s plans got a frosty reception from the attending residents with many questions being asked about a myriad of concerns. Having said that we were told that the developer had letters of support from some local schools, business and the scouts.

I got the impression that the developer was testing the water and looking for ideas to develop his plans from locals and that things may well change prior to any formal planning application being made to Sefton Council.

The fact that the land is firmly within Sefton’s recently revised Green Belt and that it is high grade agricultural land means to me that Planners are going to have a very critical eye on the matter. The other thing that struck me was that I don’t recall any proposals being made to take this piece of land out of Green Belt or to develop it during Sefton Council’s controversial Local Plan process which has only just ended. To me that process was the obvious time to have raised such plans.

I have the feeling that this matter is going to be hugely controversial should a formal planning application follow on from the presentation to Lydiate Parish Council. I would add that the Parish Council will respond to any formal planning application that is submitted when the full facts surrounding the matter are known.

11 thoughts on “Lydiate – A lot of folk at Parish Council meeting to hear about a leisure/sporting facility being proposed

  1. Phil R says:

    I was not at the meeting… but not surprised at a ‘frosty reception ‘
    The sort of people who attend such meetings tend to be “flat earthers” with no vision.
    The hypocracy of enjoying living in Lydiate. Established since the Doomsday book.. which is essentially green belt land, yet having reservations about enhancing the offering.
    Farmer Teds is a great local asset.
    A dozen years ago an imaginative proposal for a canal marina was squashed.
    Maybe the people of Lydiate are happy to live in the shaddow of Maghull….. or maybe the are open to the idea of enhancing the place and giving local budiness a chance?

  2. Neil says:

    “Mission creep” by developers, as per usual. We need to watch this very carefully as it could be the top of a very nasty iceberg.

  3. Harry Elms says:

    You seem very cool over this Tony are you for it or against as it is on prime land? Or would you rather see homes built.

    • It was pretty much a straight report on what happened at the meeting Harry rather than an opinion piece. However, if you read my blog regularly you will realise how I have been trying to keep agricultural land around Maghull & Lydiate and indeed across the wider Sefton Borough from development as I have fought Sefton Council’s proposals to take land out of the Green Belt and therefore out of agricultural production via its Local Plan process. My approach has not changed.

  4. Daniel Morris says:

    spending a Saturday or Sunday morning on a zip wire or scramble biking and then the afternoon in the Scotch sounds good to me. Will the scouts have the burger concession?

  5. Nick says:

    Tony, regards your extended line to Preston, I think what is key is a new Burscough Station where the 2 lines meets just north of Burscough – making this a true joined up network.

    I feel it’s a wasted opportunity otherwise

    Happy to chat.

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