Maghull – New cycle track from Switch Island towards Maghull on A59

I have commented before about the narrow and completely inadequate cycle/footpath out of Maghull towards Switch Island and it seems someone has been listening as construction work on a much wider path has been taking place in recent weeks from Switch Island up to the pedestrian/cycle crossing just before the Maghull boundary.

I do hope that the highway powers that be Highways England and Sefton Council are going to keep the new path construction going to the junction with Liverpool Road South as there’s no point in stopping at the cycle/pedestrian crossing. This is view from the crossing towards the Liverpool Road South junction – still a very narrow path at present but I will have more news soon on it:-

Of course what Maghull and Lydiate really needs alongside the A59 Northway is a safe cycle route from Switch Island through to Robins Island and Lydiate Parish Council has acknowledge this need in its draft Neighbourhood Plan.

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Formby – Can an artificial pitch be dangerous to health?

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/new-3g-football-pitch-divides-14553067

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link above.

This story jumped out at me because I had never even considered that artificial pitches could be dangerous in this way. Having said that the School and Formby Parish Council seem happy to put the money in and get on with the construction subject to planning permission.

Maybe an angle to take into consideration and investigate further though as Lydiate Parish Council develops plans for a multi use games area (MUGA) project for its Sandy Lane Playing Field.

Lydiate – That outdoor sporting/leisure site proposal & its relationship to a designated Conservation Area

One thing that slipped my mind when I put together my report on the presentation to Lydiate Parish Council about this proposed development (my immediately preceding blog posting refers) off Hall Lane/Southport Road is the relationship of the site to Lydiate’s Conservation Area.

The matter was raised at the meeting but as I say this aspect slipped through the net when I was writing the posting up. Having been reminded of it now I have been onto Sefton Council’s web site (see link below) where the boundaries of the Conservation Area are defined:-

maps.sefton.gov.uk/webmaplayers/?x=336440&y=405089&resolution=1&epsg=27700&mapname=smbc&baseLayer=ColourMapping&datalayers=Sefton%20Boundary%2CConservation%20Areas%2CselectFeaturesControl_container

As you can see the site is right up against it where Hall Lane joins Southport Road by Our Ladies RC Church. On that basis this close association with the conservation area will surely be a restricting factor in how the site can be developed other than for agricultural use.

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.

Lydiate – The long haul to try to address sporting deficiencies at Sandy Lane Playing Field

The Clerk of Lydiate Parish Council, her staff and I met with a representative of Liverpool County FA on 11th January to try to move forward the process of identifying how the Parish Council can upgrade facilities at this playing field.

I have mentioned before the poor state of the tennis courts and the need for them to be brought up to the standard of a Multi Use Games Area (MUGA). My previous postings refer and within the one below is a report on the matter from the November ’17 Parish Council meeting:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/12/03/lydiate-news-from-the-november-parish-council-meeting/

The meeting on the 11th was to see whether the Football Foundation, via the local FA, would be willing to support a project that could also see, if the funding can be put in place, the present changing room building fully refurbished and probably extended. The present building is pretty much as built in the 1970’s and with the growth of women’s football and the need for disability access it is hardly suitable for purpose these days.

Sandy Lane Changing Rooms building in March 2016

Coupled with the MUGA plan and a big changing room upgrade the football pitches will probably need some further work doing to them to counter flooding problems.

So this was the huge agenda we discussed to see how things could be moved forward. It’s probably the case that other grant giving bodies such as Sport England and the National Lottery will need to be approached too particularly with regard to funding for the MUGA as this is not something that the Football Foundation will support.

More news when I get it.

Fracking – It’s getting closer – Exploratory drilling in Great Altcar is on the agenda!

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-42584948

The BBC has the news on its web site – see link above

Here are a couple of relevant links to previous postings on this blog site about fracking:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2016/10/31/lydiate-parish-council-to-oppose-fracking/

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2016/12/29/fracking-those-who-fight-it-could-well-be-seen-as-a-danger-to-society/

My own view is that the future of energy has to green energy and much greater strides towards it need to be made so making the need for fossil fuels a thing of the past. For example what on earth are we doing building any new houses or indeed industrial buildings or any form of building without them having solar panels/tiles on the roof? Have our political leaders learned nothing about green energy?

By opposing fracking we can force politicians to really embrace green energy, by supporting fracking we simply kick the green energy can further down the road. We need environmental sustainability, end of.