Maghull – Powers that be start communicating with nearby residents over Maghull North Station build process

The construction site on 11th November

I have covered the planning and construction phases of the new Maghull North Station many times before on this blog site.

Sadly, within weeks of the construction starting there was conflict between the work the contractors were doing and the nearby residents living in Mersey Avenue. Noise, intrusive lighting, night working and the lack of consultation/communication with residents over the detail of the build process were the major issues.

Action was promised to residents and Independent Sefton Cllr. Matt Gannon who lives nearby himself and represents the residents. From this the 1st of a promised two weekly edition of newsletters has been delivered to residents living around the construction site. Here’s a scan of that 1st edition:-

Has the process that has now been put in place and the issues that have been addressed met resident concerns sufficiently? Time will tell.

Please click on the scanned newsletter above to be able to read it

Maghull – ‘Poppy Fields’ and Maghull North Station progress

I have been keeping an eye on the progress of these two adjacent developments off Maghull’s School Lane and here are are some photos of things as they were on 11th November.

Station platforms beginning to emerge

Almost completed houses on ‘Poppy Fields’, the former site of Moss Side Hospital and subsequently Ashworth South Hospital

Looking over the recently created rainwater collection pond (Sustainable Urban Drainage or SuD in drainage engineer’s speak). School Lane is behind the fence in the background.

Of course the Maghull North Station construction process has become hugely controversial with neighbouring residents in Mersey Avenue in recent weeks due to intrusive night time working, noise and flood lighting.

Merseytravel/Network Rail are promising a residents meeting we are informed in an attempt to find a way forward. There was no work taking place when the photo above was taken.

The housing development on Poppy Fields or the Moss Side Hospital/Ashworth South site (all are used to describe this site and its history) was not controversial when the wedge shaped piece of land was designated for housing in Sefton Council’s otherwise hugely controversial and recent Local Plan. But the site sits across the road (School Lane) from the most controversial of all the sites in that Local Plan – The Maghull East Urban Extension of around 1,600 houses plus a business park.

Poppy Fields in its former guise as a mental health treatment hospital site and before that, in World War 1, as a world leading center for the development of treatments for those suffering from ‘Shell Shock’ is of huge historical significance.

Maghull – Possession of the line for Maghull North Station and angry residents

The Merseyrail Northern Line beyond Maghull to Ormskirk has been closed this weekend to allow engineers building the new Maghull North Railway Station to have possession of the line.

This was the scene after 4pm today from various vantage points:-

Looking north from the ‘new’ School Lane overbridge

Looking north from the old School Lane overbridge under the ‘new’ bridge

Looking south from the Park Lane overbridge back towards the station site and School Lane

But clearly Mersey Avenue residents who back onto the site of the new station are unhappy with the lack of communication from Merseytravel/Network Rail with regard to the project and its progress. Removal of many trees, noisy working at night etc. is clearly causing problems. The Maghull Community Facebook Page was being used to express concerns today.

I understand that a meeting with residents is being arranged by Merseytravel/Network Rail but the last I heard there was no date set for it and the thing that strikes you is that surely the meeting should have been held some time ago.

It’s annoying that a really positive project to aid public transport improvements in Maghull/Lydiate (which has been talked about since the 1940’s) is finally coming about in a way that is making life difficult for residents backing onto the site. The sooner Merseytravel and Network Rail start to work with the concerned residents the better. I understand that Merseytravel (the public sector transportation committee for the Liverpool City Region) will find quite a lot of complaints in its inbox when they return to work on Monday.

Maghull – Work on the new Maghull North Station

This was the scene on Tuesday 26th September as contractors were making a big impression on the site of Maghull’s second railway station which is due to open in May 2018. The 3 car Merseyrail Class 508 EMU (508 139) has left the present Maghull Station and is heading for Town Green Station in Aughton on its way to Ormskirk.

For those who don’t know where this second railway station will be in the Town, it’s on the Liverpool – Ormskirk line off School Lane (between the present Maghull & Town Green Stations) and the station building will be on the old Moss Side Hospital site. The rest of the former hospital site is being redeveloped for housing as you may be able to make out in the right background of the photo.

The housing development is being called ‘Poppy Fields’ as a nod to the great importance of Moss Side Hospital which was world famous for its treatment of Shell Shock victims in WW1. Sadly the campaign to have the new station called ‘Maghull Moss Side’ in recognition of the importance of the former hospital was turned down by the railway powers that be. Indeed, they also rejected the present Maghull Station being renamed ‘Maghull Hornby’ after the Town’s most famous resident Frank Hornby (creator of Dinky Toys, Hornby Railways and Meccano) who once lived only yards away from it.

The photo (click on it to enlarge it) is also amongst my Flickr shots at:-

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

Maghull – Poppy Fields housing development and Maghull North Station

I went to have a look at the new housing development at ‘Poppy Fields’ yesterday. I say Poppy Fields when of course I mean the former Moss Side Hospital site (also known as Ashworth South to some folk) where Maghull’s second railway station is presently being built too.

I arrived there at around 11am. The site was accessible i.e. the gate was open but oddly the sales suite was not despite a notice saying it was on Thursday’s through to Monday’s (don’t they sell houses on Tuesdays and Wednesdays?). I did see a handful of people looking around the site though.

The Ormskirk – Liverpool railway line/new station site is on the left hand edge of this plan.

Another thing I thought was odd concerned the plan of the site stuck to the outside of the sales suite – it did not depict the new station being built at all. Is the new station not a big selling point for the developer?

From what I saw though they do seem to be selling houses with I would guess 50% of the properties that are partially built having sold signs on them.

But I wanted to look at the progress of the railway station too and in what seemed to be a separate locked compound excavations were taking place on the area to be occupied by the station building and car park.

Excavation works where the Station building/station car park will be.

A view of the station site from the School Lane overbridge.

Clearly house building in and around Maghull/Lydiate has been hugely controversial in recent years not least because of the loss of Green Belt and the very highest grades of agricultural land (which grows our food) for the building. But this site was not a part of such controversy, indeed building there was broadly accepted by local environment campaigners as a sensible reuse of a previously partly developed site.

My final thought for now is how much will the new housing on this site meet what I think are the greatest local housing needs – bungalows/single level accessible flats for the elderly, small starter homes for those trying to get onto the housing ladder and of course social housing? I think I know the answer…….

Click on the photos to enlarge them

New Maghull North Station due to open May 2018

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.

I have been chasing up the latest position with regard to the Maghull’s 2nd railway station and with the help of Merseytravel Committee member John Dodd. I can supply the following information which has been provided to John by Merseytravel.

*****

The contractor for the Maghull North station began the mobilisation stage for the station works on Monday 4 September.

Work has also begun on the de-vegetation of the railway cutting within the existing Network Rail trackside boundary. An ecologist is on site in case there are any particular issues that are found as the staff work their way in to the undergrowth.

Merseytravel will be meeting with Network Rail on Friday [8th September] and will discuss further details of the early stages of the construction works.

Opening of the railway station is still planned for May 2018 when the new summer timetable starts. At this stage it is not intended to rework the Maghull Circulars [buses], some of which provide a service from the existing station and pass the site of the new station.

However there will be further bus service reviews in time to come and the services will be looked at with knowledge of the new station, the Persimmon Homes development currently underway (Poppy Fields) and any proposals for development on the lands east of Maghull.

With thanks to Cllr. John Dodd for the lead to this posting

This photo shows the view from the Park Lane overbridge looking south towards the School Lane overbridge from where the previous photo was taken. The new station will be close to the School Lane bridge.