on this site:

archive news page 07

on other web sites:

Merseyside events

Mersey Forest

Ranger Service LCC

Palm House - Sefton Park

Croxteth Hall activities

Mersey Valley
Countryside Warden Service

Art in Liverpool

Liverpool 08


Liverpool City Council web site information

Parks information

UDP: "Open Environment" list of parks & green spaces PDF

meetings & agendas 2008:
Executive Board
Planning Committee
Regeneration Select Committee


other Merseyside links

Garden Festival Campaign

Friends of Princes Park

Friends of St James' Cemetery & Park

Birkenhead Park

Friends of Croxteth Hall & Park

Liverpool's Parks
Hilary Burrage

Wavertree Society

Friends of Newsham Park

Stanley Park Anfield Voice
last update Nov. 05

Liverpool Social Forum

Mersey Campaigns

British Trust for Conservation Volunteers
North West

Red Rose Forest

Merseyside Biodiversity Group

Griffin Wood St Helens

Friends of Earth
North West

Mersey Waterfront


other web site links

Green Space

Your Parks PDF
from Green Space

Green Flag Awards

National Playing Fields



Active Places
Sport England database



English Heritage

European Landscape Convention
Council of Europe

European Landscape Convention
icomos-uk PDF

Ken Worpole

John Davies

our ground

news 2008

click here for latest news page



updated 4 October 2008



what's-on diary
from October
to December 2008
free events
in parks & public open spaces




brief history of Stanley Park



What will happen to the Festival Gardens site and the development on the Promanade?

Rumours abound about the future of the Garden Festival site and the planned development scheme. Watch this space for confirmed reports.

On the 10 July the Secretary of State announced the go-ahead for plans for a property development on the Festival Gardens site in Liverpool. The Inspector’s Report, from the Public Inquiry into the Langtree McLean scheme, states that “overall, the effect of the proposed scheme on the character and appearance of the whole promenade would be harmful”. What may be significant are the report's recommendations, including requirements for the new Festival Park to be completed and open first and to only remove trees immediately before building on woodland.

Save the Festival Gardens Campaign announced, “The Secretary of State’s decision to give the go-ahead for a series of huge apartment blocks on the waterfront – and for the cutting down of 10 acres of waterfront woodlands – is clearly a terrible disappointment to us all and a disastrous decision for the future of Liverpool’s prom” and "on many individual points the Inspector has agreed with the campaign’s objections to the development". See Garden Festival Campaign web site for further information.

Liverpool City Council are aware of the dramatic impact the buildings will have over the Promenade and to the massive tree loss caused by the Langtree's plans in developing the site. But LCC are committed to urbanising this Green Wedge area, as a way of dealing with the Garden Festival land and for the creation of a new private park available to the public. In the past, LCC have been unable to enforce the maintenance conditions of their lease for this land.

LCC is supporting plans for a row of 7 apartments to tower above Otterspool Promenade's coastal pathway with it's extensive grass embankment and sheltered wooded bund. This area is reported to be one of the best picnic spots and a highly valued public amenity on the banks of the River Mersey nearest to central Liverpool. more below

See item 4e for LCC's agenda details and map plans: http://councillors.liverpool.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.asp?CId=282&MId=8023&Ver=4

What's happening in Anfield?

Liverpool Football Club's American owners are in financial difficulties and there is no news of plans for a scaled-down version of a new stadium on the public park at the beginning of October 08.

The pubic football grounds on the site of the new stadium's "big field" continue to attract amateur football games on the park. However, the public sports centre has been demolished.

The regeneration of the remaining listed Stanley Park is now underway with the recent demolishment and excavation of the original Palm House - the Gladstone Conservatory. The area around the Walled Garden and Palm House is now fenced off to the public.

Housing between Stanley park and LFC's existing stadium have been cleared. Beyond Stanley Park, large areas of the Anfield housing terraces, rising from LFC's ground to the former Dixie Dean Memorial Playing Fields, are gradually going through a process of "clearance and regeneration". The site of the Dixie Dean Memorial Playing Fields in Everton is now a building site for a new private/public academy school.

U-boat given public space by Woodside Ferry in Birkenhead

Largest complete German WWII submarine U-532 was cut into sections at Birkenhead Docks at the end of February. It was moved to the former car-park site alongside Woodside (Mersey Ferry) Terminal during March and is planned to become a major new public tourist attraction on the Wirral side of the river. The new site is not long enough for the entire length of the U-boat and glazed sections will be displayed in a triangular formation.

Liverpool International Biennial Pavilions

Road-side land transformed with rotating trees at the top end of Greenland Street near Upper Parliament traffic lights - trees are not always spinning.

The Pavilions project takes the form of three large-scale, temporary creative spaces in the Liverpool neighbourhood's of Kirkdale, Garston and Kensington. Each community has followed a very different approach to their site, working collaboratively with artists and architects from abroad to embed their individual needs and aspirations into the spaces.

Rotunda College in Vauxhall are working with Landscape Architects GROSS Max on designs to convert a strip of derelict land outside their building into a community garden. Tended by community groups throughout the year creating an environment for the whole community to enjoy. The gardens will be open from 28 April.

Metal in Kensington invited Columbian artists to design a transformation of the disused approach to Edge Hill Station. This Pavilion will launch together with Metal’s new programme on 3 May.

Garston Cultural Village will stage a ‘Cultural Revolution’ as the declaration of the Artistic Republic of Garston on 31 May. Focused on the Wellington Street School building temporary becoming The Garston Embassy.

For more information contact Kerenza Hines on k@kerenza.net

Liverpool Football Club - back to the drawing board for Stanley Park

Further plans for Liverpool Football Club's new stadium and the future of Anfield's historic listed park will be presented to Liverpool Council's planning committee in the coming months. At the end of January American owners announced that the club will be taking on £3.5M of debt and repayment costs have meant scaled down plans for an "efficient" new stadium design. These plans do not include an underground car park - whether this means more of the grassed park will be taken over by car parking remains to be seen. The playing fields on publicly owned Stanley Park will be available for amateur football and dog walkers for a while longer. more

Inquiry for Festival Gardens scheme ends

For 4 weeks a Public Inquiry in Liverpool has been listening to evidence on plans for a large scale building scheme on the land of the first International Garden Festival site. Closing statements were delivered on 11 January.

The main issues for Our Ground relate to the impact of the development on Otterspool Promenade, loss of public open space, threat to green space along the undeveloped coastal zone, threat to nature conservation and the sustainability of a new private park available to the public.

Presenting evidence in support of the development were Langtree McLean Ltd, Liverpool City Council and Councillor John Coyne. The Save the Garden Festival Campaign presented evidence against the urbanisation plans.

Pictures, including the one at the top of this page, were presented as evidence at the inquiry. Shown for the first time in public these demonstrated the physical and visual impact of Finger Blocks on the Promenade. The accuracy of the images were not disputed but local newspapers and PR material do not illustrate this part of the development. Langtree's statement added, "Even if it is accepted that there will be some adverse impact through the construction of the Finger Blocks this has to be balanced against the overall benefits of the development of the Park and the restoration of the site as a whole".

Silken voiced Stephen Sauvain QC represented the developers Langtree McLean. He is the region's leading expert on planning law and has much experience in conducting public inquiries - he was Inspector for the Dixie Dean inquiry in 2007. His witnesses were all working professionals employed by Langtree. He pointed out that, "There is no policy requirement in Liverpool to provide any level of affordable housing".

Liverpool City Council were represented by the barrister, Alan Evans, who called witnesses employed by the City Council but mostly left questioning to Mr. Sauvain.

John Coyne, Councillor for St Michaels Ward in Liverpool, was mainly concerned with traffic issues and called no witnesses. However, he raised personal safety issues regarding Priory Wood, also leased by McLean. He also stated, "I have admitted a failure in not thinking about consulting users of the Promenade" and "..about diminished amenity due to the closeness of the tall blocks to the waterfront".

David Morton represented the Save the Garden Festival Campaign who, like many witnesses in preparing evidence for the Campaign, lost income by dedicating time and work for free. Seven issues were outlined in the Campaign's closing statement:

•Serious concerns over the new Park's sustainability with inadequate maintenance funding - the proposed Park is the key justification for the development.
•Building on a strategic Green Wedge along the undeveloped coastal zone.
•Impact of the Finger Blocks on the Promenade with loss of 10 acres of woodland.
•Failings in nature conservation - lack of consultation with local wildlife & ecology experts.
•Development conflicts with LCC's stated Housing Policy.
•Serious transport issues with impact of development and no adequate transport policy.
•Contamination problems on the site with LCC having no registry of land-fill sites.

The Inquiry Inspector will write a concluding report for the Secretary of State who will decide on the plans by mid July. more

Millbank Playing Fields

Parts of Millbank Playing Fields are now a building site for a privatised building scheme. more

Sefton Park Restoration

Work started in mid February to restore Sefton Park and is planned to finish within this year. A contractor's compound has been setup in the Farm Field, opposite the Palm House, and this area and path near the Greenbank end will be closed to the public for the year. Silt from the waterways will also be stored in the compound.

Work will be carried out in sections starting at the northern waterways, progressing to the boating lake and then the eastern area. Only one of these sections will be closed at any one time. Building work on a new cafe and kiosk, along with restoring statues and other features, is scheduled to take place this year.

The Friends of Sefton Park hold Sunday afternoon meetings in the Old Police Station on Lark Lane about once a month.

Comment - a brief history of Stanley Park

In 1865 work started to build two green parks for the people of Liverpool - Sefton Park and Stanley Park. In 1871 Stanley Park, in Anfield, was opened with ornamental walls, large stone shelters, bowling greens, sculptures, fountains, lakes and bridges. Described by Pevsner as "One of the best mid Victorian parks, not only in Liverpool but of the whole North".

By the 1980's park maintenance was drastically cut. The Gladstone Conservatory, erected in 1900, was leased as a pub for a few years and then, like other buildings in the park, rapidly became derelict.

Through the efforts of "The Friends of Stanley Park" a programme of restoration started with the help of English Heritage lottery funding. But before work was completed Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Football Club announced their intentions to build a new stadium on this grade II listed Victorian park and funding for remaining restorations was withdrawn.

In 2000 Council leaders held a public meeting in Anfield and plans for a stadium to be built on the park were overwhelming condemned and subsequent ballots of local people also rejected the plans to build on the park.

Regardless of local public opinion the Council and LFC were determined that a new stadium project went ahead. In February 2007 the football club was taken over with the promise of financing a new futuristic stadium. By November the go-ahead was given to build an enormous American style stadium to stretched the width of the park - nearly a third of Stanley Park. Further landscaping plans were agreed to radically change the character of the remainder of the park - all designed for the efficient flow of football supporters.

In 2008 the club owners revealed financial problems. An "efficient" new stadium design will now be presented to the City Council. These plans may take up a larger proportion of the park.

At the beginning of June 2008 plans appear to be on hold and the site still functions as a grassed playing field area within the park.

If such a large scale private urbanisation scheme can take place in one of Liverpool's most celebrated public parks then no other public space in Liverpool or elsewhere is safe from private building developments.

Planning authorities are responsible for the creation of huge amounts of wealth especially when they "gift" publicly owned open space. Parks and playing fields are very profitable options. The principal beneficiaries are nearly always property developers. more

Add news and information to this site

Please send information about events or news in parks or public open spaces to be advertised here free of charge. Send details to info@ourground.net

The production of photographs used on this site is part of work in progress by John Davies and is supported by the Arts Council England North West