Maghull – More on its challenging land drainage issues

My posting of a few days ago (see link below) regarding the consequences of heavy rain locally was picked up by our local Champion newspaper and in turn a resident contacted me with regard for the potential of flooding in the future associated with Whinney Brook/Dovers Brook.

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2020/02/24/maghull-heavy-rain-reminds-us-of-the-potential-peril-of-building-on-agricultural-land-locally/

To explain I’ve taken a few photos of where 3 brooks/streams combine yards away from the Cheshire Lines Path/Trans Pennine Trail on the western edge of the Town:-

Cheshire Lines Path crossing Dovers Brook & looking towards Meadway/ Old Racecourse Road

Footbridge across Dovers Brook where it is joined by Whinney Brook at the far corner of the Maghull High School site.

The confluence of Whinney Brook and Dovers Brook as seen from the blue bridge in the 2nd photo. Whinney Brook crosses Maghull east to west.

Another confluence just few yards further back up Dovers Brook – the stream on the left has come down from behind Fouracres.

The photos above were taken after the recent floodwaters had subsided on 29th February. There are of course other tributary streams joining Dovers Brook and eventually about two thirds of a mile north of the 1st photo Dovers Brook spills into the River Alt.

Looking back towards Bridges Lane and Sefton Church from the confluence of Dovers Brook and the River Alt. This photo is from 2013

Having said that the problem, faced at times of heavy rain, is the long-standing one of the Alt being too high for Dovers Brook to empty into it, which in turn backs up Dovers Brook to flood. As I’ve said previously, there’s nothing new about this problem it’s just that we see it happening more often these days. The next photo shows what happens when things get really bad:-

A flooded Bridges Lane between Dovers Brook and the River Alt – when it all got too much in December 2015

The purpose of this posting has been to try to illustrate the problems on the western side of Maghull due to its low lying land and the drainage system that, other than in flood conditions, keeps in drained. The worry of the resident who contacted me most recently is that with future rainfall expected to more regular and even heavier will the Maghull area suffer bigger flooding events especially as more agricultural land is built upon (as part of Sefton Council’s Local Plan) which presently soaks up much of the rainwater.

Of course I’m no drainage engineer or climatologist but you won’t be surprised that I share such worries……..

Oriel Road & Balliol Road, Bootle – A look at some sadly rather run down and disused listed buildings

The area around Bootle Town Hall has always interested me particularly because of the grand buildings that are close to the Town Hall.

First let’s have a look at Bootle’s Listed Buildings via Wikipedia:-

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Listed_buildings_in_Bootle

Next to Bootle Town Hall and along Oriel Road & Balliol Road where there are some splendid buildings that have sadly not been well maintained and some have fallen into disuse. You will have noticed from the link above how many of them are in this small part of Bootle. The former Bootle Swimming Pool, Police Station, Library & Museum, Post Office and School Board Office.

I recall that only a few years ago there was a determined and successful campaign to save the School Board Office from demolition. Sefton Council had proposed its demise as part of a Housing Renewal project it was pursuing. Indeed, you can see that the old building is now surrounded by new residential properties (see bottom photo). Of course saving it was one good thing, finding a use for it is quite another and if no use can be found it will deteriorate further and eventually fall down. Such are the dilemmas facing building conservationists.

The photo below is of the former swimming baths that were taken out of use when Bootle Leisure Centre was built in North Park some years ago. I recall using the old Victorian swimming pool in the 1970’s.

Balliol Road buildings, Bootle r

And across Balliol Road is the former School Board Office looking rather sad amongst some very new property.

IMG_4434 r

Click on both the photos to enlarge them

I notice that Sefton Council’s draft Local Plan, which I have often criticised on this blog site for its grabbing of high grade agricultural land to build on, has ambitions to the ‘refurbishment and reuse of listed and historic buildings in and around Bootle Town Hall.’ It says this is a regeneration priority amongst some other worthy projects but I wonder if there is a real plan behind these fine words?

The photos are amongst my Flickr shots at:-
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/