Liverpool’s Sefton Park Palm House was packed out today for another performance by Maghull’s very own community wind orchestra.
This lovely venue really seems to suit MWO and they have quite a following these days. BTW I leaned today that they have been in existence for nearly 40 years and there were 85 of them playing today. In 2018, to celebrate their 40th anniversary, MWO will be playing a one-off special concert at Liverpool’s Philharmonic hall.
Christmas music and some scores from films were the order of the day for this latest performance. Always nice to hear them and to run into some old friends and former work colleagues. I had not seen Phil Davidson for two or 3 years but have run into him twice this week and it turns out he’s a fan of MWO.
Click on the photos to enlarge them
A visit to Meadows Leisure Centre the other day and this sight caught my eye. Lovely autumnal colours as a tree on KGV Park shed it’s leaves.
Click on the photos to enlarge them
The 2nd photo is amongst my Flickr photos at:-
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
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.
The ongoing issues surrounding noise and over-night working as Maghull’s second railway station is being built has reached the pages of the Liverpool Echo – See link above
The photo (click on it to enlarge) above shows the extent of the works on 29th October. The residents suffering noise and disruption to their lives live in the houses to the left of the photo in Maghull’s Mersey Avenue. The photo is looking north from School Lane in the direction of the next station on the line – Town Green in Aughton.
I think it fair to say that the level of disruption to the lives of residents in Mersey Avenue has come as a rather bad surprise. Of course construction work is always going to be intrusive to some extent if you live near such a site but how come the level of consultation with the residents seems to amount to not much more than a letter being delivered so far?
When we saw the tight construction window allocated to build the new station maybe it should have sounded alarms. Starting in September 2017 and opening in May 2018 is indeed tight so intensive night working’ when trains are not running, was with hindsight always going to be the case. But again the most severely affected residents should surely have been consulted and briefed in detail weeks before the start of works so there were no surprises and all possible and practical mitigation measures put in place.
It’s as though the level of disruption to Mersey Avenue residents has just not been fully thought through. Why?
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.