West Lancs – Green Infrastructure & Cycling strategy

Wow this sounds very worthy but potentially boring, but hey give it a chance its actually quite interesting.

Here’s a link to it:-

www.westlancs.gov.uk/gicstrategy

Yes I know, this is the kind of document so beloved by planning officers. But such documents do serve a wider purpose and this one is about the green infrastructure of West Lancashire which surrounds my Lydiate hometown on 3 sides. I have often thought it is odd that Lydiate’s only land connection with Sefton Borough (to which it was allocated – some would say misappropriated – in 1974’s local government reorganisation) is via a short boundary with Maghull. All the rest of Lydiate has boundaries with Aughton, Downholland and Great Altcar Civil Parishes which are of course all in West Lancs.

Here’s a map from the West Lancs document which illustrates what I am on about – or maybe it does not?:-

Map of the Borough of West Lancashire.

Map of the Borough of West Lancashire.

Now hang on a minute – firstly please enlarge the map by clicking on it – there’s something not quite right here is there not? Crosby has seemingly moved inland and is where Great Altcar was last time I checked. And Bootle has also moved inland and north eastwards to replace Lydiate! Me thinks something has gone wrong with the map’s community labels.

But ignoring this labeling error the map really does show that Lydiate is out on a limb, akin to a thumb sticking up into West Lancs. On that basis what goes on in West Lancs is of importance to Lydiate. So have a read if you have the time it’s all about the countryside that you probably use for leisure.

Lydiate – A predominately rural parish surrounded by Lancashire

I have commented before about Lydiate being surrounded on 3 sides by Lancashire and the importance of anything being considered for this community taking into account its unique geographical location i.e. it being very much an outpost of Merseyside which is all but still in Lancashire. I raise the matter again because Lydiate Parish Council says that it wants to do a Neighbourhood Plan – my previous posting refers:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/06/24/neighbourhood-plan-you-need-good-and-clear-reasons-to-do-one-or-it-will-serve-as-much-purpose-as-a-russian-tractor-factory-plan/

The reason for this posting is to very clearly show the extent of Lydiate’s rural nature – it is in fact at least three quarters rural with just one quarter of its land mass being urban. And it is also to show the interdependence between Lydiate and its neighbouring Parishes of Maghull (to the south and it Merseyside), Aughton (to the east and in West Lancashire), Down Holland (to the north and in West Lancashire) and Great Altcar (to the west and in West Lancashire). I think the map below supplied to Lydiate Parish Councillors by Sefton Council’s Planning Dept. illustrates my points well:-

Parish of Lydiate Map

Click on the map to enlarge it.

Lydiate, possibly more than any other community in Sefton (although Melling also comes to mind), ‘suffers’ from being on the edge of the Sefton/Merseyside empire sitting as it does on a finger of land jutting out well into West Lancs.

My concern is that any plan, be it a Neighbourhood Plan (done for whatever reason) or any other plan for that matter, which does not take into account Lydiate’s unique rural and geographic profile will likely be a failure. Put another way, simply rewriting Maghull or Melling’s Neighbourhood Plan and thinking that the issues are all the same will be letting Lydiate down by ignoring it’s unique nature.