Lydiate – Labour’s first Green Belt development site is being cleared for building

Land clearance machinery had been seen and heard on the site off Maghull’s Turnbridge Road over the past few days so I went today to check it out.

Trees taken out at the end of Maghull's Turnbridge Road

Trees taken out at the end of Maghull’s Turnbridge Road

Whilst this site, which Labour-run Sefton Council has earmarked for house building, will be accessed off Maghull’s Turnbridge Road the site is in reality all within Lydiate as Maghull Brook forms the Maghull/Lydiate boundary right at the end of Turnbridge Road.

I had a chat with one of the men doing the clearance work, which seemed to entail the removal of trees (some of them mature), bushes, scrub etc. The work was well advanced when I saw it and a large area had been cleared.

If I understood the contractor I spoke to correctly he was telling me that the initial reason for the work was an attempt to eradicate vermin from the site following complaints from residents. I assume he meant Turnbridge Road and Greenbank Avenue residents? He said Sefton Council had asked the land owner to address the vermin issue and that clearance was the best way of doing this? He went on to say that as the land was down for development the whole area was being cleared.

I took a couple of photos whilst I was there which are in this posting.

Land clearance machinery at work on the Lydiate site released from the Green Belt via Sefton Council's nearly complete Local Plan.

Land clearance machinery at work on the Lydiate site released from the Green Belt via Sefton Council’s nearly complete Local Plan.

In reality this is by far the smallest site in Maghull/Lydiate that is being released from the Green Belt for housing or industrial use across the joint communities. If all the released land is developed both Maghull & Lydiate will vastly increase in size/population.

I opposed building on the high grade agricultural land that surrounds Maghull, Lydiate, Formby, Southport etc. when I was a Sefton Borough Councillor. Labour said they opposed such development as well but then voted to build on the Green Belt! Labour lost 3 Council seats to Independents last May, in Maghull/Lydiate & Formby, on the basis of their say one thing but do another approach to the Green Belt.

PS. By the way the fact that the land is being cleared does not mean that the building will start very soon as I understand that there is presently no agreed planning application for the site.