Shocked Lib Dem councillors, who have consistently fought to preserve the Green Belt around the East Parishes communities, of Sefton Borough are horrified at proposals, from Labour led Sefton Council, that could see a massive development of houses and a business park on high grade agricultural land.
After years of talking, Sefton Council has finally said where it thinks houses and employment sites should be built within the Borough. The sites include a huge swathe of land bounded by Poverty Lane, the M58, the Liverpool-Ormskirk Railway line and School Lane. This massive site was last fought over in 1988 when Maghull Town Council, then Lib Dem run, successfully led the campaign for it not to be developed. Sefton say that over 1,600 houses could be accommodated on this site alone.
Cllr. Andrew Blackburn attended a briefing meeting held by Sefton Council Planners, representing Lydiate Parish Council, and he says “Sefton Council Officers have finalised their proposals on The Sefton Plan. They intend to recommend “Option 2”, which would see approximately 510 new homes built every year between 2015 and 2030. Within the Urban area they believe that around 5,600 homes could be accommodated. This therefore means that roughly 5,700 would have to be built within the present Green Belt.”
As well as the massive Poverty Lane site they have identified the following sites in the East Parishes which, if “Option 2” is approved, will be developed:
Land bounded by School Lane, Railway Line and Park Lane (presently the site where a Prison had been planned). This site would have 357 residential properties built on it.
Land off Wango Lane, next to Valley Close. This site would have 57 residential properties built on it.
Land bounded by Waddicar Lane and Rainbow Park. This site would see 141 residential properties built on it.
Land bounded by Waddicar Lane and Leeds/ Liverpool Canal, behind Chapel Lane, and Woodland Road. This site would have 144 residential properties built on it.
Across the whole of East Sefton it is estimated that there would be 393 residential properties built on various bits of land, like the Damfield Lane development.
“Option 2” RESERVES
These sites would only be used if some of the areas already listed in “Option 2” could not be developed for some reason. However, this does not prevent developers putting in Planning Applications with the hope that, even if Sefton refused permission, Planning Inspectors may grant permission.
Land bounded by Lambshear Lane, Sandy Lane, Moss Lane and Liverpool Road. This site would have 819 residential properties built on it. It was indicated that the developer who is interested in this site is very keen, and may submit a planning application no matter what Sefton agrees in its policy.
Land bounded by Kenyons Lane, Liverpool Road and Northway (locally known as Tyson’s Triangle). This site would have 257 residential properties built on it.
Land bounded by Leeds/Liverpool Canal, Willow Hey, Melling Lane and M58 Motorway. This site would have 89 residential properties built on it.
These proposals will go to various Sefton Council meetings and then they will go out to public consultation from mid July through to August.
Says Andrew “Maghull and the communities around it will face the largest hit! The scale of the proposed developments is truly shocking, especially as the land on which they are proposed to be built is the highest grade agricultural land in England. Only 2% of the English landmass is high grade agricultural land; it is utter madness to consider further building upon it.”
In 1988, as Leader of Maghull Town Council, I led the campaign to stop Green Belt development in and around the Town and readers of this blog will recall that I have recently challenged the Interim Labour Leader of Maghull Town Council to say what she will now do having abstained during the last big Green Belt battle.
The bottom line here is that we could end up with 20% more houses in Maghull if these plans go ahead; clearly such a move would change the character of the community and the best and most versatile agricultural land in England would be concreted over. As an environmental campaigner I am utterly horrified.
The only non-controversial site in the list for the East Parishes is the one where the previous Government had said it wanted to build a new prison, on former Ashworth Hospital land.