Maghull – It’s eastern urban extension land has been cropping in 2017 but for how much longer?

The Maghull East site is probably the most controversial of all of the Green Belt development sites across the whole Borough of Sefton because it is so vast, indeed it is now referred to as an ‘urban extension’ such will be its size.

The land is predominately high grade agricultural land which grows our food so building on it is utter madness to me. However, we environmental campaigners lost the battle to save it and Sefton Council is to have its will to develop the site for housing and business use.

I thought it would be useful to have a photographic record of the site so I took a photo at the height of summer and another one in this autumn. Both shots are from the same location – the M58 motorway junction bridge at Ashworth. I think you will agree they look radically different despite there being less than 2 months between them. Obviously the weather played its part too:-

Click on the photos to enlarge them

The photos are also on my Flickr site at:-

M58 Junction 1 (Ashworth Junction) planning application made

The plans are now on Sefton Council’s Planning Web Pages and can be viewed via the link above.

Interestingly the application is to Sefton Council by Sefton Council, in other words the Council is seeking to gain planning approval for itself.

For those who don’t know the plan is to turn the present limited access ‘Ashworth’ junction on the M58 into a full motorway junction.

I had assumed, wrongly it seems, that the application would be made by Highways England (used to be known as the Highways Agency) as they control, maintain and in effect own the M58 Motorway. However, the Government money, pledged a few years back, has been funneled via Liverpool City Region and as the project is in Sefton Borough (in Melling Civil Parish) it has fallen to Sefton Council to apply to itself for planning approval.

The presently gated Giddygate Lane where it joins the ‘limited’ M58 Motorway Junction 1.

An interesting issue, which I have commented on before via this blog site, is that the final part of Giddygate Lane is to be stopped up. Presently it is a gated road which joins onto the current motorway junction. However, it is also a public right of way so access for pedestrians and cyclists will have to be maintained. The planning documents show how this is intended to be achieved.

You will need to access the planning application, via the link above, to see all that is proposed.

Melling/Maghull – Photo of that odd M58 Motorway junction by Ashworth Hospital

Click on the photo to enlarge it

I posted about this ‘one way’ Motorway junction back in March this year but did not have a photo of it at the time, so here’s one now.

What you are looking at is where you would expect there to be a slip road down onto the M58 to travel towards Switch Island. But of course there never has been one as you can only use this odd junction to travel east towards Skelmersdale or leave the M58 here if travelling west. This is in fact where the gated Giddygate Lane finishes presently and it will have to be moved to accommodate the upgraded junction.

My previous posting that talks about when it is likely that this junction will become a full junction is accessible below:-

Melling/Maghull – M58 Motorway Junction 1 upgrade

‘So when is work on upgrading the M58 junction by Ashworth Hospital going to start’ is a question I have been asked a few times recently.

My information is that works on site are likely to start around March of 2018.

Those who know the area well will realise that it is one of those odd motorway junctions that you can only presently access from one side so to speak. The works are meant to change it into a full junction being able to access/leave the M58 in both directions.

The works will lead to the public right of way into Giddygate Lane (a gated restricted access road) needing to be moved to facilitate a full motorway junction. Some informal consultations have taken place with land owners and those with rights of access to Giddygate Lane and a formal consultation process will follow soon I understand.

The whole of the works and indeed Giddygate Lane are within Melling Civil Parish not Maghull as is often quoted with this Motorway junction.

Melling – Giddygate Lane is a gated lane with restricted access

Giddygate Lane has been a ‘gated road’, that is only meant to be accessed by residents and land owners with a key from the M58 ‘Ashworth’ roundabout end ever since the M58 was constructed in the early 1980’s.

It’s gated to stop other vehicles using it as a short cut as it is narrow and little more than a tarmaced track. Nipping down there in a vehicle when the gate is open is liable to get you a fine if you don’t have legitimate access rights.

If memory serves around 25 people have such rights and the keys have always been issued by Sefton Council.

I recall this from my time as a Molyneux ward councillor. I also recall a motorist who was known to me getting a fine for nipping down there when she should not have done.

But problems have often popped up regarding the gate. Folks forget to shut and lock it, the padlock gets lost or it ‘disappears’ etc. Recently Sefton Council has been getting a little exasperated about it because each time the padlock ‘disappears’ or the gate is damaged (possibly sometimes deliberately damaged?) it costs them a lot of money to put right, money they can’t afford to keep spending.

In other words the solution that has been in place for 30 years has never worked very well but things may be about to change.

You see because our Labour friends who run Sefton Council have decided to allow huge swathes of Green Belt to be developed the area around this end of Giddygate Lane is about to change for good.

The one sided M58 motorway junction at Ashworth is going to be converted into a full junction so the Giddygate Lane access off the roundabout will have to be moved as will the public right of way down it.

I wonder if through this enforced move, which could easily happen in the next couple of years, a better arrangement can be found to keep this narrow lane restricted to traffic which it clearly needs to be?

Sefton Labour – The sun shines because of them you know!

Here in Sefton Labour have gained a reputation for saying one thing and then doing just about the opposite and they also claim credit for things they have had little or nothing to do with. In one case they claim credit for a motorway junction upgrade that is only happening because they voted to build houses on Green Belt/high grade agricultural land that they said they were going to defend from development!

Lets look at the local cases of Labour claims:-

Brooms Cross Road/Switch Island – Thornton Link Road:- Not down to Labour at all. The last Labour Government failed to give the final green light for the construction to start. They had been in government for years but kept kicking the road into the long grass. What’s more the real campaigners for it were the people and Parish Council of Thornton. A dodgy claim if ever I heard one comrades.

Thornton residents marching to get the new road built.

Thornton residents marching to get the new road built.

Maghull North Station:- This soon to be built station was given the green light and 95% of the money to build it by the Coalition Government, not by Labour. Another very iffy Labour claim.

Site for the new Maghull North Railway Station.  Photo taken looking north from School Lane road bridge. The former Moss Side Hospital site is to the right and Mersey Avenue to the left.

Site for the new Maghull North Railway Station. Photo taken looking north from School Lane road bridge. The former Moss Side Hospital site is to the right and Mersey Avenue to the left.

We will defend the Green Belt:- Er no, Labour voted to build on it on Sefton Council. No ifs no buts Labour said one thing, even putting up posters saying one thing, and then did the opposite.

Labour poster displayed in Lydiate - October 2013

Labour poster displayed in Lydiate – October 2013

We are getting the motorway junction on the M58 at Ashworth made into a full junction:- Well yes and er very definitely no. Here’s what Labour don’t tell you, the money for it from Government is on the back of a huge urban extension to Maghull (1,500+ houses ans an industrial park) on high grade agricultural land and Green Belt. What’s more, and I refer back to the Labour defending Green Belt issue, this site was one (of many) approved by Labour on Sefton Council who had said they would fight against Green Belt building. So yes they can claim some motorway junction success here but only because they did the opposite of what their propaganda said they were going to do! A really dodgy claim brothers and sisters of the revolution.

Closing Sefton Libraries:- Strangely Labour are not claiming credit for their Library closures or refusing volunteers in Aintree and Crosby from running closing libraries. Then again when Labour treated the volunteers so badly its no wonder they want this one swept under the red carpet.


Closing Youth Facilities:- Another one that Labour are not claiming credit for is the closing youth facilities in Maghull (Stafford Moreton Youth Centre and Maghull Youth Coffee Bar) despite the fact Labour marched young people around the streets of Maghull allegedly trying to stop the closure of youth centres in 2011. You had better continue to keep quiet about this double standard Labour.

Maghull's former Stafford Moreton Youth  Centre boarded up.

Maghull’s former Stafford Moreton Youth Centre boarded up.

Labour in Sefton Borough – Saying one thing, doing another and claiming credit for things they have had little or nothing to do with