Melling – Giddygate Lane – Tree Cover Gone

The clearance of tree cover around Junction 1 of the M58, prior to it being made into a full junction, is complete and it’s changed the landscape completely:-

Looking towards Poppy Fields

Trees to sawdust:-)

Giddygate Lane entrance and of course the fly tippers have visited too

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Maghull – Work starts on North Station Building

Work continues apace with the construction of Merseyrail’s new Maghull North Station with the station building itself start to rise from the ground. The photo below illustrates the situation on Monday 05th February:-

Click on the photo to enlarge it

Behind the station the progress of house building on the Poppy Fields/Ashworth South site can also be clearly seen. This was the site of the former Moss Side Hospital which became world famous for its treatment of shell-shock sufferers during WW1.

Maghull – Poppy Fields – SUD fills up

SUD (Sustainable urban Drainage) – A big pond to collect water at times of heavy/persistent rainfall, which is then pumped away when the local drainage ditches can cope with the withheld water. Well that’s my definition anyway. A more technically correct definition, via Wikipedia, is available in this link:-

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_drainage_system

And the reason for this interest in urban drainage? Well Maghull has a SUD pond on the new Poppy Fields* housing development off School Lane and here’s a photo of it pretty full of water on 22nd December:-

If my understanding is correct, it will be drained via a pipe network that ends up in Whinney Brook and from what I saw when I took this photo it was in the process of being pumped out.

My previous photo of this SUD pod was taken on 11th November, soon after it had been dug out:-

Looking over the recently created rainwater collection pond. School Lane is behind the fence in the background.

With the high water table in the Maghull area I am guessing that it will often have water in it.

All new land development projects will have some form of SUD associated with them these days but the big question is how well will they cope with flash downpours.

And related to this site I noticed that the first occupants of the Poppy Fields housing development were moving in when I was there on 22nd.

Also I noticed a large banner which told me and anyone else reading it that the development is made up of 3, 4 and 5 bedroomed houses. But what do we need? 1 and 2 bedroomed properties and single level houses as starter homes and for the elderly to move into to free up larger properties for families, oh and social housing for rent too of course.

Yep, housing policy is a mess and it has been this way for at least the past 30 years.

* This piece of land was the uncontroversial housing development site in Maghull, during the Local Plan process, where environmental campaigners agreed it was suitable for building.

Maghull North Station – Construction progress over 4 months

I’ve been tracking the progress of the construction of Maghull’s second railway station which is due open in May 2018

Work started during September and here are 4 shots showing the stages of construction up to 16th December:-

7th September 2017

19th October 2017

17th November 2017

16th December 2017

All the photos were taken from the School Lane overbridge.

Things will really start to move soon with lift towers being the most obvious addition to the foundations already laid for them. The station building will be on the right hand side next to the Poppy Fields housing development on the former Ashworth South Site. According to drawings produced by/for Merseytravel the station buildings and car park will look like this:-

But despite this positive progress let’s not forget the residents of Maghull’s Mersey Avenue (who live in houses to the left in the 4 photos) who are having to put up with a lot of noise and inconvenience, especially at night, whilst the new station is being built.

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.