Maghull – Houses for Parkhaven Trust site off Green Lane

This is the site looking towards the Allotments from Green Lane. It has been used as farm land in the recent past.

This is the site looking towards the Allotments from Green Lane. It has been used as farm land in the recent past.

This story goes back to July of 2013 when Andrew Blackburn and I voted against this site (bounded by Green Lane and South Meade) being developed for housing but Labour’s councillors voted for it to be built upon. That vote was on Sefton’s Planning Committee when we were both Borough Councillors for Park Ward in Maghull. I posted twice on the matter back in July/August 2013 and the links to those postings are below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2013/07/25/why-i-voted-against-more-building-on-the-parkhaven-trust-site-in-maghull/

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2013/08/22/peat-now-heres-a-thing-i-had-not-heard-of-before-in-relation-to-a-planning-application/

Now it seems that Redrow the house builder is going to take the planning permission forward and start construction of 57 houses.

Frankly my views have not changed in that the unique parkland layout of the former Maghull Homes Estate is being irrevocably compromised and will be lost for ever.

What I also fear is that we will get more 3 and 4 bedroom Houses when what we need are 1 and 2 bedroom properties. Having said that I still would not build on this parkland area of the Town. So if the development goes ahead which it now surely will, following that vote back in July 2013, we could not only lose more unique parkland heritage but also ‘gain’ houses that don’t address local housing need. What a double whammy!

Oh and to answer a query I have heard. The site is not mentioned in Sefton Council’s infamous Local Plan, I assume, as it was given planning permission 3 years ago. If my understanding is correct a new planning application is being submitted for the site but the principle of it being developed was agreed in July of 2013 sadly.

Maghull, Lydiate & Melling – Canal scenes along our stretch of the Leeds Liverpool – Posting 2

My second posting of random photos taken along the Leeds Liverpool Canal through Maghull, Lydiate and this time Melling as well:-

Looking north from the Waddicar Lane road bridge through Melling.

Looking north from the Waddicar Lane road bridge through Melling.

A Maghull scene between the Green Lane and Westway road bridges. I did not note the name of the narrow boat.

A Maghull scene between the Green Lane and Westway road bridges. I did not note the name of the narrow boat.

Boats at Mersey Motor Boat Club in Lydiate.

Boats at Mersey Motor Boat Club in Lydiate.

Click on the photos to enlarge them.

Posting 3 on this theme will follow in due course.

The 2nd photo is also amongst my Flickr shots at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Thornton Parish Council – Probably one of the most successful Parish Councils in Sefton Borough and indeed beyond.

My connection with Thornton Parish Council goes back a number years to when they and the good people of Thornton decided enough was enough and they were going to re-launch the campaign to get a relief road built around their traffic congested community.

thorntonpc.org.uk/

The previous campaign (which eventually became known as the Blue Route) had stuttered to a halt because of environmental issues mainly and I think it fair to say that mainstream politicians were hardly keen to dip their toes in that water again! But Thornton Parish Council thought differently and they knew their community still needed a solution to the environmental nightmare they faced virtually every day of the week because the road system taking traffic out of Liverpool towards Formby and Southport had a missing link in it. It certainly did so clouds of pollution were being spewed out along Lydiate Lane and Green Lane as a consequence.

This is the presently being constructed junction with Brickwall Lane just to the west of Sefton Village and south of Thornton.

This is the presently being constructed junction with Brickwall Lane just to the west of Sefton Village and south of Thornton.

The initial campaigning led to a public march, which I took part in, to raise the profile of the issue once again and then things really took off. This time mainstream politicians took notice and I like to think that I helped build the cross-party consensus to get some action rather than yet more warm words.

So a movement was built and what was ultimately a successful campaign was launched. But it would not have happened had Thornton Parish Council and the people of Thornton not shown great determination. The new road will, I hope, help ease their traffic congestion in Thornton when it is complete and open soon.

So why did what I look upon as one of the most successful of Sefton Borough’s 10 parish councils (because they won this massive campaign) only have 4 people nominated to sit on the 7 member Parish Council in this May’s elections? It makes no sense, people usually like to be part of success even those who have done nothing to bring about the success. Whatever the reason/s it is sad to see the lack of nominations to this Parish Council which has achieved so much.

But let’s look at it another way the road is only being built because of the campaigning of Thornton people, without them it simply would not have happened. I think that simple fact indicates that Thornton Parish Council deserves a huge thank you for raising a dead project and forcing it onto Sefton Council’s agenda. Yes people like me picked the issue up and ran with it but that was what I was expected to do when Leader of Sefton Council.

I really like Parish Councils, they are so diverse and are capable of so much and I am determined to let Thornton Parish Council have its 15 minutes of fame whilst others, particularly in the Labour Party, try to claim credit for a project they have had precious little at all to do with.

Maghull canal breach 1994

In 1994 the Leeds Liverpool canal through Maghull/Lydiate breached, houses in Hickson Avenue were flooded and fish were left flapping in the fields on the opposite (western) side of the canal.

I recently found and scanned some photos of the disaster which occurred between Green Lane (Methodist Turn Bridge), Maghull and the Bells Lane swing bridge, Lydiate. The cause was the canal collapsing into a culvert that went under it which carried and indeed still carries Maghull Brook under the canal. Maghull Brook is in fact the boundary between the Civil Parishes of Maghull and Lydiate.

This is looking northwards towards the Bells Lane swing bridge which is out of sight around a bend in the canal. Most of the water had run out of the canal by the time this shot was taken.

This is looking northwards towards the Bells Lane swing bridge which is out of sight around a bend in the canal. Most of the water had run out of the canal by the time this shot was taken.

This is Bells Lane swing bridge with a makeshift dam in place to try to hold back the water. The houses by the bridge look significantly different now.

This is Bells Lane swing bridge with a makeshift dam in place to try to hold back the water. The houses by the bridge look significantly different now.

This shot looks at the Bells Lane swing bridge from the other side. The breach is a few hundred yards behind the camera.

This shot looks at the Bells Lane swing bridge from the other side. The breach is a few hundred yards behind the camera.

This is where the breach happened. the flooded houses in Hickson Avenue being on the left of the photo.

This is where the breach happened. The flooded houses in Hickson Avenue being on the left of the photo.

Grounded canal boats

Grounded canal boats

The reason so much water escaped is that there are no locks between Stanley Dock in Liverpool and Burscough in West Lancashire, many miles away. In effect all the water between Liverpool and Burscough was trying to leave the canal via the breach which was roughly half way between the two.

I recall watching what was then British Waterways (now the Canal & River Trust) desperately trying to stop the flow by dumping rubble into the canal at Bells Lane and it being washed away by the force of the water.

My good friend Cllr. Bruce Hubbard was Mayor of Maghull back then and he launched a public appeal to help those whose houses were flooded.

Oddly, we now live in a house that backs onto the canal along this very stretch of water.

The photos are amongst my Flickr shots at:-
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/