Money being thrown at Maghull & District by Coalition? – What does it all mean?

I made mention of the Coalition Government funding 90% of the cost of Maghull’s second railway Station in a recent posting and them previously throwing a large amount of money at the presently being built Switch Island – Thornton (to be called Broomscross Road) link road. But there is a also a 3rd project that will ‘benefit’ Maghull and district that the Coalition has recently stumped up £5.5m (again around 90% of the cost) for.

Makes you wonder why the Coalition seemingly loves throwing so much money at the East Parishes part of Sefton, does it not, especially as the previous Labour Government did not put a penny into the pot for any of these three major transportation projects.

The third major project is to make the M58 Motorway junction near Ashworth Hospital/Kennet Prison a full junction as opposed to it being half of one as it always has been. I assume the half junction was a cost cutting saving when the Motorway was originally built?

I recall that my former Lib Dem councilor colleagues Cliff Mainey & Roy Connell campaigned for it be made a full junction some years ago. Cliff/Roy you have got your wish even though it took a few years!

BUT this 3rd project, welcome though it may be at face value, is probably tied to getting that huge piece of land to the east of Maghull developed for housing and business use. Readers will recall that Labour have already voted to build what can only be termed as a massive ‘urban extension’ on a truly enormous scale on that land in the Draft Local Plan for Sefton. Have Labour now inked out the building on that site even before the Local, Plan is finalised? I think we should be told.

Separately, the site Maghull North Station is to be built on can only be said to be confusing because at face value Labour are seemingly opposed to building houses on it (it is called the Ashworth South site) for some odd reason. My previous posting refers at:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/07/22/ashworth-south-site-the-proposed-maghull-north-station/

You see the remainder of the funding for the new station (or quite a bit of it anyway) will most likely come from ‘planning gain’ associated with the building of houses on the rest of this site. Interestingly, all the environmental campaigners locally that I know are quite content for this site to be developed because it has been developed before – Moss Side Hospital previously stood on it. So why Labour have cold feet about developing it when across the road (literally across School Lane) they are ‘ploughing’ on with building more houses on Green Belt land than you can shake a stick at remains a mystery. Can Bootle Labour Party please issue clear guidance and instructions to Maghull Labour, so they know what they are doing please!

So there you have it or put it another way:-

* Switch Island – Thornton Link Road – Not funded by Labour but by The Coalition – It has all-party support and should be finished by Christmas.

* Maghull North Station – Not funded by Labour but by The Coalition – seemingly has all-party support but Labour can’t make their minds up about developing the rest of the Ashworth South site which would enable all the funding to be in place.

* M58 Ashworth Junction – Not funded by Labour but by The Coalition – but have Labour done a deal to build an ‘urban extension’ to Maghull (on Green Belt land) to get the money?

Ashworth South site & the proposed Maghull North Station

This site is rarely photographed as it is surrounded by fencing but the railway bridge that takes School Lane over the Liverpool – Ormskirk Merseyrail line gives a decent view.

The first photo shows a train passing the proposed Maghull North Station site. Just look how close the gardens on the left hand side are to the railway line; it’s going to be a squeeze to get a platform in there! I would not be surprised if, when the station gets to the detailed planning stage, that this will be a sticky problem to resolve. The photo is looking northwards with the Park Lane railway bridge in the distance.

rsz_maghull_north_station_site

The second shows the wider vista of the Ashworth South site that was once where Moss Side Hospital stood. It was then down, under the last Labour Government, to be the site of a new prison but the Coalition decided not to build one there.

rsz_ashworth_south_&_proposed_railway_station_sites

Of course the Ashworth South site is where Labour refuses to say whether they support house building on it or not. Odd this especially as they are determined to build a truly massive urban extension to Maghull just across School Lane. Maybe they have other plans for the Ashworth South site? Whatever, they are not for saying despite local environmental campaigners and the Lib Dem Party openly supporting development on Ashworth South whilst opposing Labour’s vast urban extension across the road. Ashworth South has been developed before so building houses on it seems a sensible thing to do especially as doing so will provide a financial contribution towards the cost of building the new railway station.

I will return to Maghull’s proposed urban extension in due course.

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