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.

Wrong Houses being being built in the wrong places? CPRE has hit a very important nail on the head here

www.cpre.org.uk/media-centre/latest-news-releases/item/4675-the-wrong-homes-in-the-wrong-places?utm_medium=email&utm_source=engagingnetworks&utm_campaign=campaigns-update-oct-2017-nonmembers&utm_content=Campaigns+Update+2017+Oct+-+non+members

The Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) has the story on its web site – see link above

I have long thought that here in Sefton Borough we are not addressing local housing needs despite Sefton Council allocating acre after acre of the highest grades of agricultural land for more new housing.

My focus has not only been on protecting high grade agricultural land from development (because it grows the food that we eat!) but also, where we do build houses, they really do need to meet local need. Like many folk I see building more 3 and 4 bedroom houses as being a part of the problem not a solution to the UK housing shortage.

No the real housing need is affordable housing, social housing for rent and housing suitable for our aging population i.e. more single level accessible housing.

The CPRE stance in many way mirrors my own concerns although they seem to have missed out housing for the elderly, which must be a national housing matter not just one related to Sefton Borough. Build housing that the elderly want to move into and it will free up family housing; it’s not rocket science!

I’ve had my issues with CPRE in the past in that I thought they were too laid back with regard to house building on prime agricultural land and Green Belt in Sefton. I also questioned their political leanings when they attended a meeting in Crosby that was not properly party politically balanced. But I think they are on the right track here with regard to their Wrong homes, Wrong Place campaign.

Trouble is governments of all colours have been making a mess of housing policy for generations now.

And only very recently a Conservative Social Care minister jumped back into the so called ‘dementia tax’ solution so favoured by the Tories at the last election and which all but sunk them in June 2017.

It seems the Tories are still arguing that homes are not assets for parents to pass on to their children. That’ll go down well with the voters – NOT!

My point here is that the Tories are still on the wrong path as they remain blind to the need for single level housing that is truly accessible. They don’t seem to understand that older people would move house if there was somewhere they could move to as they get older, at a reasonable cost. As there is not enough such housing many don’t or can’t move out of 3 and 4 bedroom houses because they can’t afford to.

Thanks to Roy Connell for his contribution to this posting