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 – Construction work on new station causing big problems for near by residents

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/quiet-street-thats-been-transformed-13843355

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?