Port of Liverpool Access – Rimrose Valley Friends meet Peel Ports

www.rimrosevalleyfriends.org/news/whose-road-is-it-anyway-our-meeting-with-peel-ports/

There is an interesting report of the meeting on Rimrose Valley Friends web site – see link above

Having covered this issue numerous times on this blog site I have to say that in my humble opinion this matter started to go wrong many, many years ago when it was first mooted that the Peel were thinking of expanding at Seaforth.

What should have happened back then was a detailed access study (involving residents from the potentially affected communities) to look at all the implications – positive and negative – of such an expansion. I also think that study should have been commissioned by Sefton Council, working with what was then the Highways Agency and Network Rail or its forerunner Railtrack. But such a move was not made – Why?

The issue came up during my time as a Sefton Councillor but my very clear recollection is of being told that Bootle’s councillors were not keen on leading the issue. If I understood what I was told correctly they seemed to look upon the Port as a troublesome neighbour. My take on this is that without the Council taking the lead the the Highways Agency and Network Rail were never going to look at holistic transport/access solutions on their own and they didn’t.

The matter was not helped by the planning application for the works to the Port being dealt with by Government rather than the local authority as it kept the issue under local radars. Yes I know that Sefton Planning Dept. will have had a hand in the planning process to some extent and that they will have reported to appropriate councillors but at the end of the day if the application had been dealt with locally the implications of access to the port would have been dragged to the surface much sooner.

However we got here the cart (building the enlarged Part) got before the horse (access to the enlarged Port) and if that does not show how poor and muddled headed UK Planning processes are I don’t know what does. Sadly, however, we are where we are and the ‘solution’ put before us is driving a new road through a Country Park! You really could not make this up, could you?

Maghull – I’m guessing that those enormous poles are…..

The second phase of the new housing development on the Ashworth South Site is well underway but one matter that has puzzled a few folk, so I am told, is the huge poles which have been erected towards the eastern end of the triangular site.

Although they could be mistaken for old fashioned radio masts they are far more likely to be for netting to be hung from to stop cricket balls hitting the new luxury properties on the Pavilions development part of the Ashworth South Site. A close examination of the photo above (click on it to enlarge) will show the Moss Side Maghull cricket square being rolled ready for the 2018 season.

Bootle – Landmark Gas Works set for demolition

Bootle Townscape

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/demolition-sludge-filled-gasworks-set-14484171

The Liverpool Echo has news of the proposed demolition of the former gas works off Bootle’s Marsh Lane on its web site – see link above.

I worked overlooking this gas works for many years and took the photo above from my high vantage point workplace (The Triad) a few years back.

It looks like the demolition process is going to be troublesome and lengthy for the residents who live in the surrounding streets.

It’s rather sad to see such a landmark in Bootle being torn down. It was once connected to the railway network and the remains of bridge abutments can still be seen on Hawthorne Road.

Previous postings of mine mentioned this site, here’s a link back to them:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/02/03/bootle-gas-works-and-surrounding-area/

Click on the heading photo to enlarge it.

Lydiate – Those new wind turbines visible from it but over in Great Altcar

Yes I saw them pop up out of nowhere too in the past couple of weeks and also wondered about them.

A cycle along the Cheshire Lines Path as far as United Utilities’ Sewage Treatment Works (actually officially called – Hillhouse Waste Water Treatment Works) in Wood Lane, Great Altcar gave me the answer; they are both within the confines of the works so must have been erected to help power it.

Clearly they were still to be commissioned when I went for a closer look on 30th March and took these photographs:-

Lydiate & Maghull Labour’s bizarre ‘Fake News’ obfuscation

Campaigners, outside Maghull Town Hall trying to save Sefton Borough’s high grade agricultural land and Green Belt from development.

There’s a very odd Labour Party leaflet doing the rounds in Lydiate and Maghull at present which seems to have an unhealthy fascination with Donald Trump’s infamous ‘fake news’ phrase.

I don’t intend to comment on the majority of the leaflet but on one very very bizarre part of it. It says:-

‘What they say: The Council has released land for development… but this is FAKE NEWS’ – It then goes on to say under the heading ‘THE TRUTH’ that ‘The Council owns very little land in Lydiate and Maghull – almost exclusively parks and gardens and hasn’t released any to be built on.’

Firstly, Sefton Council under its Labour rulers HAS released land for development, it did it via it’s own Local Plan process and this is a matter of public record.

Secondly, the release of land for development has NOTHING what so ever to do with parks and gardens.

The land released by Sefton Council is not its own land, it’s land in the hands of private owners who have been falling over themselves in the past few years to try to get the Council, via its Local Plan process, to release their land from the Green Belt so that it can be built upon.

What Sefton Council under its Labour Leadership HAS done is to decide which parcels of Green Belt land will be released from that protection for development to take place.

So Labour are denying that they are allowing parks and gardens to be built upon when we all know that no parks and gardens in the Borough are down to be built on. Yes I know, it makes no sense at all.

But what they seem unwilling to admit is that their Local Plan, published by their Labour-run Council (and which is a public document freely available on the internet for anyone to see) HAS released land from Green Belt (some of it being the highest grade of agricultural land in England) for building upon. Yes, I know again, it makes no sense at all!

So just what is the fake news here? It’s certainly not that ‘The Council has released land for development’ because it has and we all know it has.

‘The Truth’ is in fact the truth as we all know that our local parks and gardens are not going to be built on.

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!

How utterly bizarre, the Party that said it would protect the Green Belt actually voted to build on it, then it enshrined its own U-Turn in a public document (the Sefton Local Plan). Now it tries to hide behind some weird obfuscation that tells locals that their parks and gardens are not going to be built on when no one thought that was going to happen anyway!

I thought I had seen it all in my 33 in local politics but this just takes the biscuit especially under the strap line ‘Trust your neighbours in Labour to tell you the truth’.

Lydiate – More work on that Neighbourhood Plan

Yes I know it seems to go on forever, putting one together for Lydiate Civil Parish that is. And yes I’m still a skeptic of them, seeing NP’s as of little or marginal benefit only, at best.

But whatever I’m doing my bit to help put together the Lydiate one.

Our last Neighbourhood Plan meeting went into all kinds of detail but two particular areas really interested me, the lack of a cycle path on the A59/Northway through Lydiate and the poor state of the canal tow path through Lydiate.

What have these issues got to do with a Neighbourhood Plan you might ask. Well the connection is that when house building does takes place in Lydiate developers have to provide money to support local infrastructure. Presently that’s via a process known as Section 106 agreements. They may be morphing into CIL – Community Infrastructure Levy – but Sefton Council can’t seemingly make up its mind whether to make the change or not. But whichever process is used it means that the Parish Council can try to direct how up to 25% of that money is spent.

The two major areas that we have identified, via our NP process, are upgrading the tow path of the Leeds Liverpool Canal tow path through Lydiate and addressing the lack of a cycle lane alongside the A59/Northway through Lydiate.

The following 2 photos from 2014 show the canal tow path as little more than a rut in the grass alongside the canal:-

Looking north from Pilling Lane bridge along the canal

Looking south from Pilling Lane bridge along the canal.

It’s still the same now and we want it upgraded so that cyclists and pedestrians can make greater use of it. A wider hard wearing surface is required.

With regard to the cycle path along the A59/Northway, it comes to an abrupt halt at Robin’s Island. North of here there are cycle paths on either side of the dual carriageway through Aughton Civil Parish. We would like to see a safe cycle path/route coming into Lydiate. Here’s a photo of the end of the cycle path as you reach Robins Island from Aughton direction:-

A59 Cycle path becomes narrow pavement at Robins Island.

So there are a couple of our stated ambitions in the draft NP for Lydiate. Lydiate folk will get to vote on the plan, via local referendum, before it is finalised I might add.

Click on the photos to enlarge them