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Creative accounting of Greenspace - loss or gain?

In defence of the Council's move to sell-off hundreds of acres of green space throughout Liverpool the mayor has claimed that since he came to office he has created more green space in the city than at any time in Liverpool's history - up to 47 acres of new green space.

The Council have now published an answer to where all this new green space is and it comprises of 30 acres of land on two sites: Stonebridge in Croxteth and allotments in the Dingle.

The largest site, by the A580 East Lancs Road, is a re-landscaped area around the River Alt. This green space is divided in two parts: a development site and a park. The former school playing fields of Stonebridge Business Park & Stonebridge Cross consist of 26 acres and are currently advertised as development land. The new linear River Alt Park consists of some 21 acres and is reclaimed brownfield land.

The other site on Park Hill Road in the Dingle is already a public open green space - a recreational ground for over 25 years before the Council agreed to turn the land into allotments.

5.6 acre recreation ground in the Dingle on 13 Dec 2014 before Council plans to turn the land into allotments.

Dig a little deeper and we end up with a can of worms - in a trick of accounting we loose green space.

The reason that allotments are being provided in the Dingle is to compensate for the loss of allotments in Fazakerley where a new school is being built on the site. The former Long Lane allotment site in Fazakerley was 11.8 acres in size and was recognised as constituting a loss of Greenspace. The planning application for a new school was given approval on condition that £75,000 was set aside for the creation of replacement allotments elsewhere in the city, which is how the City Council are funding the new allotments in the Dingle. 

If new allotments count as new green space, then the loss of allotments count as loss of green space - cancelling each other out so no net gain of green space. In the accounting process of replacing one allotment space for another allotment space we end up loosing a valued recreation ground. This results in an overall loss of green space and not a gain of green space as the mayor would have us believe. 

Mayor's new green space & Green Space Review from Regeneration select committee 25 Nov. minutes
Replacement allotments - Planning Committee 27 Aug 2013 minutes - pdf

Green Space - autumn debates

In an attempt to diffuse media debates over the potential loss of hundreds of acres of green space in the city the mayor recently announced the appointment of an independent chair to head a Review of Green Space in Liverpool.

Since the last update in September and the release of Liverpool's Local Plan proposals there has been a great deal of media interest in the future of Liverpool's green spaces and parks. At the same time less publicity has been given to the countryside which impacts on the boundary of Liverpool - both Sefton and Knowsley Authority's green belt are facing the threat of large scale building developments as part of their Local Plans.

On 5 November Liverpool's opposition councillors united with a motion to challenge Labour's extensive plans to sell off the City's green space for housing as detailed in the Liverpool Local Plan. The motion was rejected by the Mayoral led Council and continue to pursue potential building developments on Walton Hall Park, Woolton Woods Park and Sefton Park Meadows as well as plans to develop the large area of playing fields in Gateacre. This debate is covered here in the Liverpool Echo.

Unfolding press news

Movie star support for the save Sefton Park Meadows Campaign

Kim Cattrall, the Liverpool born New York movie star, was first pictured in the Liverpool Echo on 17 September after she shared a picture on Twitter of Lime trees on Sefton Park Meadows and showing her support for the campaign.


Sefton Park Meadows double row of Lime trees on Queens Drive

The story was re-ignited by mayor Joe Anderson, on the 23 November, with his personal attacks on Kim Cattrall for supporting the Save Sefton Park Meadows Campaign. First reported in the Liverpool Echo the story was immediate picked up by the Telegraph the next day followed by other newspapers and media:
Express, Independent, Liverpool Echo, Daily Mail, Sunday Times and Liverpool Confidential

Many of these newspapers quote the mayor’s account of specific numbers of homes that Redrow want to build on the 6 acre site when no exact figures are publicly available at the present time. Redrow have only stated that the site could support traffic from 55 homes with a map plan showing 33 dwellings. Has the mayor seen the applicant's proposed plans before they are submitted to the planning committee?

Review of Green Space in Liverpool

As one star begins to fade from the limelight another local celebrity and actor rises from Woolton Woods with the appointment of Simon O'Brien as independent chair to set up a Green Space Review. He was appointed by the mayor to head a group to look into the city's green space allocation and the mayor is looking for potential building land. The Review’s report is said to feed back into the Local Plan just after next May’s elections.

The terms of reference for the mayor's Review of Green Space has not been made public.

On-going planning applications to build over public green space will be unaffected by the Green Space Review.

Liverpool Echo: actor-environmentalist Simon OBrien appointed
Liverpool Confidential: Brookside actor Simon OBrien gets top role in Mayor Joes greenwatch group

More Green Space for house building

Both property developers and the mayor recommend substantial increases in house building in Liverpool on land to include Local Greenspace.

During the Liverpool Local Plan consultation earlier this year a number of property developers requested a Review of Green Space – for building land. Building developers claim many brownfield sites are 'undeliverable' which means they are less profitable than building over green space and parks. To quote Redrow Homes submission:

'Redrow Homes NW believes that there is and has previously been too strong a focus on urban brownfield development.' and 'In policy terms, this means that a review of both the city’s Green Space, Green Wedge and Green Belt boundaries will be needed as the 2012 SHLAA has shown that there is not sufficient land available to meet the Core Strategy Plan demand and to address the current brownfield - greenfield release imbalance.'

The Council's Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) are estimates for house building land required by central government. As a result of revised methodology, introduced by this mayoral administration, the 2012 SHLAA Update now includes an additional suitability criteria: to include Local Greenspace.

This represents a change from the 2008 SHLAA from a minimum of 26,000 houses to a new assessment in the 2012 SHLAA Update, with a substantial increase, to 40,950 dwellings (net) for the period 2011-2028.

Liverpool's SLLAA 2012 Update report published in August 2013 can be downloaded here

The mayor says he wants to create as much greenspace as possible but at the same time he also wants to build over Liverpool's existing green space!

Liverpool's shrinkage & growth

On 27 November, on Radio Merseyside the mayor said the city was built to support a million people and now the population of Liverpool is about half that amount - concluding that the city needs to grow and he wants more housing to increase the city's population. However, up until the 1931 when Liverpool's population peaked at 846,000, the city didn't want to build over the parks and green spaces we now enjoy - our green space inheritance has been protected by previous generations for the benefit of future generations.

Questions and answers to the mayor can be heard here on BBC i-player until Boxing Day.

Liverpool's lowest population was recorded in the 2001 census at 435,000. In 2011 the figure increased to 466,500 people, the first time in 80 years that Liverpool's population has increased. The Council's latest population projection up to 2028 is about 485,000 people living in Liverpool. So, if the population increases to less than 20,000 between 2011 to 2028 why does the city need to build over 40,000 houses in the same period?

Walton Hall Park and Everton's new football stadium

The mayor supports Everton Football Club’s desire to build a new stadium on Walton Hall Park. An independent feasibility report on Walton Hall Park has just been made public and Friends of Walton Hall Park are trying to challenge the reports findings. Local Councillors are refusing to discuss the future of the park until they have seen Everton’s detailed plans and for the mayor to first comment. The mayor has now released a statement, Walton Hall Park update, commenting on the report and denying rumors he has seen any plans from the football club.

In the mayor’s statement he has not mentioned his earlier stated ambition to make a business partnership deal on behalf of the Council with the Club. Unlike Sefton Park Meadows, where the land was first advertised for disposal and then put up for sale on the condition that development plans are approved, in the case of Walton Hall Park the Council are waiting for development plans before advertising the disposal of this popular park land.

Woolton Woods

LCC held another 'non-statutory' design consultation event on 10 December at St Julie's School in Woolton Village. Comments / Feedback about the proposal can be sent to

On 25 November, Nick Kavanaugh director of Regeneration, confirmed the Council’s intention to take 5% of the Woolton Woods field for the expansion of St Julies School. The remaining 95% will go forward for the Green Space Review and may remain as part of the Local Plan to be used for a residential development. The Mayor intends to challenge the legality of a covenant protecting the park land from commercial development. More details on: & Regeneration select committee 25 Nov. minutes

from the 26 September update:

Liverpool's Local Plan

As part of the consultation process 330 representations were made identifying building land to be considered for Liverpool's Local Plan. Proposals to build over park land include: Allerton Towers Park, Belle Vale Park, Calderstones Park, Croxteth Park, Everton Park, Newsham Park, Sefton Park Meadows, Stanley Park, Walton Hall Park and Woolton Woods Park.

The list below is a selection identifying both greenfield and public space in various Liverpool Wards. Most all of these sites were added by Liverpool City Council's Physical Assets - suggesting the Council are keen to develop these particular sites.

(ha = proposed developable area in hectares, 1 ha = 100 x 100 metres = approx 2.47 acres):

Allerton And Hunts Cross:
FL Calder - added by LCC for Housing up to 3.66 ha
Land adjacent to Allerton Priory, and bound by Woolton Road and Allerton Road - for Housing up to 13.55 ha
Land north of Maryton Grange (Stonehouse P.F.) - added by LCC for Residential of 2.2 ha
Allerton Towers Park - added by LCC for Residential of 1.38 ha
School Lane Recreation Ground - added by LCC for Residential of 0.49 ha
Stanley Park (LFC) - for Coach Park for up to 3.41 ha
Townsend Lane/Lower Breck Road - added by LCC for Commercial of 0.14 ha
Belle Vale:
Liverpool Sports Park on Valley Road, Childwall - for Housing up to 3.75 ha
Lyndene Recreation Ground - added by LCC for Residential of 3.16 ha
Caldway Drive Open Space - added by LCC for Commercial of entire site of 0.81 ha
Belle Vale Park - added by LCC for Commercial & Residential of 0.26 ha
Larchwood Neighbourhood Park - added by LCC for Commercial entire site of 1.43 ha
Napps Way, Land - added by LCC for Residential of entire site of 0.33 ha
Victoria Falls Road, land (Former Cross Farm School) - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 2.46 ha
Score Lane Gardens - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 4.14 ha
Menlove Gardens - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 1.37 ha
Harthill Allotments - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 1.54 ha
Harthill Depot, Calderstones Park - added by LCC for Residential of 3.1 ha
Harthill Model Railway, Calderstones Park - added by LCC for Residential of 0.23 ha
Maiden Lane Playing Fields - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 2.13 ha
Cherry Lane Recreation Ground, Walton - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 1.44 ha
Clubmoor Recreation Ground North, Walton - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 1.27 ha
Abingdon Road Playing Fields - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 3.71 ha
Walton Hall Park - for Everton Football Club stadium, size not specified in park of 55.42 ha
Walton Hall Park including Bowls pavilion - added by LCC for Residential of 7.75 ha
Croxteth Park, Land south of Inglewood - for Housing, size not specified in park of 22.62 ha
Unicorn Park near Alt Park - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 0.39 ha
Land north of Parkview Road - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 0.96 ha
Grassed area corner Willow Way & Parkview Road - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 0.19 ha
Parkview Road, land adj Recreation Ground - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 0.33 ha
Donaldson Street Recreation Ground - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 0.48 ha
Whitley Gardens - added by LCC for Residential of 0.48 ha
Radcliffe Public Open Space - added by LCC for Residential of 0.5 ha
Everton Park by Netherfield Road & North-Heyworth Street - added by LCC for Residential of 0.75 ha
Notre Dame Playing Field - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 0.92 ha
Everton Park by Rose Vale, Langrove Street, Roscommon Street - added by LCC for Commercial of 0.32 ha
Everton Park aka China Street Recreation Ground - added by LCC for Residential of 1.3 ha
Seeds Lane Recreation Ground - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 3.59 ha.
Sefton Park Meadows (Park Avenue) - added by LCC in process for Residential entire site of 2.86 ha
Blenheim Street Recreation Ground - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 0.37 ha
Knotty Ash:
Lexham Road Playground - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 0.79 ha
Mossley Hill:
Jericho Lane Playing Field No 1 - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 3.65 ha
Old Swan:
The Green - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 1.26 ha
Princess Park:
Upper Hill Street playground - added by LCC for Residential of 0.17 ha
Speke Garston:
Maintree Crescent Recreation Ground - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 0.48 ha
Land at Oglet - for Airport development of entire site of 118.43 ha
Stapleton Avenue Open Space - for Residential entire site of 2.95 ha
Stapleton Avenue Park (FOP/StA) - for Residential entire site of 2.98 ha
Ancient Mill Wood by Alderfield Drive - added by LCC for Residential of 2.22 ha
St Michaels:
Tramway Playing Fields - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 2.31 ha
Riverside Drive, land including raised car park - added by LCC for Commercial entire site of 0.41 ha
Riverside Drive, land opposite Festival Gardens? - added by LCC for Residential of 0.12 ha
Tuebrook and Stoneycroft:
Newsham Park - added by LCC for Residential of 4.0 ha
New Road Playground - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 0.16 ha
Lister Drive Allotments - added by LCC for Residential of 1.0 ha
Rice Lane Recreation Ground - added by LCC for Residential of 2.0 ha
Olive Mount Playing Field - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 5.01 ha
Sandown Park Playing Field - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 3.02 ha
Private grounds at Woolton Manor, next to Woolton Woods - for Residential of 4.92 ha
Gateacre Comp Old School Playing Field Site - added by LCC for Residential of 7.62 ha
Alderman John Village Gardens - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 3.17 ha
Gateacre Recreation Ground - added by LCC for Residential of 0.9 ha
Woolton Woods Park by High Street - added by LCC for School, under consultation process of up to 3.39 ha
Yew Tree:
Mab Lane Playing Field - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 10.78 ha
Cantril Farm Park (North) - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 0.5 ha
Ackers Hall Recreation Ground - added by LCC for Residential entire site of 1.01 ha

for full detailed list download Item 4 Appendices pdf

The 23 Sept meeting on Liverpool's Local Plan Update was introduced through the Regeneration, Housing & Sustainability Select Committee.

The government's National Planning Policy Framework places importance on community engagement in the development of Local Plans. The Local Plan is meant to give local people a say in how their social and physical environments are shaped over the next 12 - 15 years.

At this stage in Liverpool's draft Local Plan, development sites can not be officially named until the draft is completed sometime around the summer of 2015. The Council will continue to process any development application plans (from the list above) through the existing planning system until the Local Plan is approved, around 2017.

Details of the consultation process can be found in documents from Liverpool's Local Plan update meeting on 23 Sept 2014 particularly Item 4 Appendices pdf listing all potential development sites, housing delivery trajectory, a time line for the implementation of Liverpool's Local Plan and many comments on what the Plan should contain.

Redrow Homes were quoted extensively throughout this report with comments such as: 'the city needs to review its greenbelt and green infrastructure to ensure sufficient land is identified to meet the housing requirement', 'highlights a shortage of sites available for executive, family housing' and 'too much emphasis on brownfield land'.

Other comments in the Local Plan report say the Council has over estimated Liverpool's housing requirement.

The Chair of this meeting refused to take questions from the public or to discuss specific sites. This was the first opportunity for the public to ask questions about Liverpool's Local Plan and therefore the committee failed to put into practice Liverpool's Statement of Community Involvement [SCI] which sets out specifically how the Local Plan should be implemented in Liverpool. The SCI emphasises a proactive engagement and involvement with neighbourhoods and communities in a meaningful way - focusing on information and participation.

It is expected the next Local Plan meeting on 30 October will give the opportunity for the public to ask questions.

See more on the Local Plan here on this page


Redrow public 'consultation' to build over the Meadows

Redrow Homes promoted their ideas to build executive housing over Sefton Park Meadows in a one day exhibition on 16 August at Greenbank Sports Academy. Initial design plans are online here: Comments on these plans are accepted online up until 23 September.

A spokesperson for Redrow has said that their final development plans will be available on their web site two weeks before they are considered by Liverpool's planning committee.

Redrow's planning application proposals to buy the Meadows from the City may be presented to the Council by the end of October 2014. The sale of the Meadows is dependent upon successful planning permission.

The campaign to save Sefton Park Meadows have launched a 'Fight the Planning Application Fund'. Donations to help fund professional expertise, to make legal objections to these plans, can be made by PayPal from the Campaign web site or the campaign facebook page.

In 2013, after the Council received record breaking numbers of written objections, the Mayor went ahead with marketing Sefton Park Meadows for sale. In August 2014 Redrow was announced as the Council's preferred developer for the potential sale of this 2.62 hectare public open green space.

More details about the Meadowlands disposal from Our Ground 2013 news page


Development designs may change before Redrow presents it's planning application to the Council this October.


Statement from Save Sefton Park Meadows Campaign

Redrow leads the way in persuading Councils to part with green space for housing.
Liverpool City Council and their selected preferred development partner Redrow Homes are trying to persuade the people of Liverpool that it's in our best interest to sell Sefton Park Meadows for housing.
• Redrow has hired the UK's top PR and communications agency (Lexington Communications) to organise a 'public consultation' on 16 September, alongside a campaign supporting plans to build over Sefton Park Meadows. The agency are specialist media manipulators, shaping public opinion to solve 'problem issues' and winning support for new developments.
• Redrow leads the way in persuading Councils to part with public green space for their houses. Redrow's housing tycoon boss, Steve Morgan, claimed that it's pointless protecting "tatty land" and the residential market's biggest problems for building over green space were "sheer bureaucracy" in the planning system and "nimbyism, which is alive, well and thriving".
The Chair of the SSPM campaign said:

"We will robustly oppose these plans to sell off our valuable green space used by thousands for the benefit of a few ‘executive home’ owners".

"Liverpool's mayoral led authority is joining forces with Redrow to build over our treasured green and pleasant land".

• Labour Councillors have said the Meadows are hardly used and only used for dog fouling. From recent research records it has been calculated that the Meadows attracts over 20,000 adult visitors each year with dog owners representing 20% of walkers. Most people use this green space for relaxation, recreation and exercise.
• In the early 1990's the City Council's then head of planning reported that the Meadowlands "should remain as open space as part of Sefton Park" - a view echoed by English Heritage at the time. But since then the political landscape has changed with the Meadows excluded from English Heritage's grade 1 listing of Sefton Park. Last year the Council 'un-parked' the Meadows by advertising the land at Park Avenue as ‘incidental open space’ for disposal, even though within a designated conservation area. This proposed disposal received the highest recorded number of written objections sent to Council planners.
• Édouard André, who designed Sefton Park at the end of the 1860's, would have overseen the planting of rows of trees on the Meadowlands to fit into the design and setting of the rest of Sefton Park. This June, tree specialists carried out a tree survey over the Meadows and they confirmed that the magnificent row of Plane Trees on Mossley Hill Drive were planted over 140 years ago. Liverpool's unique double row of Lime Trees at the entrance of Queens Drive also dates from the same period.

'Turning Green to Brown' - Meadows portraits exhibition

96 portraits of people using Sefton Park Meadows made within 15 hours over 10 days in May. The final part of the exhibition has been extended:

until 25 October 2014

Quaker Meeting House Cafe
22 School Lane
Liverpool L1 3BT
next to Bluecoat on ground floor
open Monday to Friday 8:30am-5:00pm Saturday 9:00-5:00pm.


Turning Green to Brown - the book of 33 selected portraits in Sefton Park Meadows by John Davies

click on arrows for viewing pictures full screen.
The £2 profit on each sale of this book is donated to the Save Sefton Park Meadows Campaign fund.


Stadium plans for Walton Hall Park

Mayor Joe Anderson is a big supporter of Everton Football Club and on the 16 September Everton's plans of building a bigger stadium on a new site at Walton Hall Park were finally made public by the City Council. Over the next few weeks a 1,000 local homes will receive letters inviting them to consultation events to view plans of a new stadium building complex over the public open space of Walton Hall Park.

Also in the same week Councillors will visit Liverpool FC, on Stanley Park, to see building expansion plans to increase the football stadium's capacity along with a new coach park.


Council public 'consultation' to build over Woolton Woods

Teddy Bears Picnic for Woolton Woods - 31 August 2014

Liverpool City Council arranged a further public consultation meeting on 10 September at St Julie’s School in Woolton. The campaign to save the public green space are not against the school but want to present other options rather than building over any part of Woolton Woods Park. The City Council and school leaders are trying to gain public opinion to break a covenant protecting the park land from developments - the covenant allows for some recreation facilities.

Campaigners believe Mayor Joe Anderson wants to build a new school over park land so that the old school site becomes available for house building and generate income for the City.

For more details and future meetings see:


Liverpool's Local Plan - ineffective publicity for consultation

The recent nationwide 'Localism' consultation was intended to encourage all communities and people throughout England to help form their own Local Plans - the basis for future local authority planning. And for everyone to have the opportunity to have a say in how their social and physical environments are shaped over the next 12 years.

Central Government's rhetoric for this radical new Localism Act was initially widely criticised in the press. By the time active consultation plans came into force in 2013 there was little national or local media coverage of the Local Plan's significance in empowering people to help shape their local surroundings. There was also a failing of both central and local governments to promote Local Plans to a wider public. Property developers and speculators would have not missed the opportunity to complete the necessary Local Plan forms.

In the whole of Liverpool, a total of 117 forms were returned for the Local Plan Public Consultation. The deadline in Liverpool was the 31 March 2014. The Liverpool Local Plan will eventually become part of the government's 12 year national planning framework.

Liverpool's breakdown of numbers for completed forms A, B & C:

48 - Form A is a simple form to make a quick comment on what the Local Plan should contain.

19 - Form B relates to questions on housing, employment and other types of development.

50 - Form C is for allocating sites for development or identify land to be protected from development.

The government's National Planning Policy Framework places importance on community engagement in the development of Local Plans. Individuals and neighbourhoods could have voiced their views to help shape local authority planning rules by registering any land or place that people can identifying as a local amenity or important for a Local Plan. Once agreed, Local Plans will radically change the way local authorities can give planning permission.

Liverpool made the Local Plan consultation documents available at the end of last year. At this time many other planning authorities had already completed their public consultation.

The Government aim is for every area to have a clear local plan which sets out local people's views of how they wish their community to develop, consistent with the framework and against which planning applications for planning permission will be judged.

The National Planning Policy Framework is a key part of the government’s reforms to make the planning system less complex and more accessible.

'This should be a collective enterprise. Yet, in recent years, planning has tended to
exclude, rather than to include, people and communities. In part, this has been a
result of targets being imposed, and decisions taken, by bodies remote from them.
Dismantling the unaccountable regional apparatus and introducing neighbourhood
planning addresses this

The Minister for Communities and Local Government goes on to say:

The purpose of planning is to help achieve sustainable development. Sustainable
means ensuring that better lives for ourselves don’t mean worse lives for future
generations. Development means growth. Sustainable development is about change
for the better, and not only in our built environment.

Our natural environment is essential to our well being
and it can be better looked after than it has been

This policy framework is a requirement of the Localism Act - the Act was born out of the European Landscape Convention.

Liverpool City Council announced:

'It is the Council’s intention to prepare a Local Plan and to encourage representations
on what it should contain. This provides an opportunity for neighbourhoods, local
organisations and businesses to help shape the Plan’s content

Liverpool's Statement of Community Involvement (pdf down here)

'It is important that people have the opportunity to be involved and influence decision

'Early and meaningful engagement and collaboration with neighbourhoods, local
organisations and businesses is essential. A wide section of the community should be
proactively engaged, so that Local Plans, as far as possible, reflect a collective vision
and a set of agreed priorities for the sustainable development of the area, including
those contained in any neighbourhood plans that have been made

Disposals of public open space

In Britain local planning authorities (local Councils) can sell-off the public land we collectively own and are only required to publicise these disposals by placing small advertisements in a local newspaper once a week for two weeks. There is currently no centralised resource of freely available information regarding the disposal, sale and privatisation of public open space.

No public notices are required to be placed in or by the actual public land to be privatised.

The public have the right to object to their local planning authority if they disagree to a planning proposal. Actions to make are to send written legal objections to the appropriate planning officer well in advance of a planning committee meeting.

Most all privatisation schemes attract little interest in news media. Public open space and park land gradually disappear over extended periods of time or usage changes in subtle ways. School playing fields are now mostly privately owned and development plans for this type of land attracts little attention. In rare circumstances a planning application is 'called in' for a Public Enquiry but these are often balanced in favour of the commercial developer who has the financial resources to employ professional legal expertise.

During 2010 different central government departments had conflicting views over the value of public open green space. Some encourage local councils to sell off public land where others see the same public open space as an essential part of the urban infrastructure for a wide range of environmental, social and economic objectives and activities.


click on image to see views of Chavasse Park from 2004 to 2008

The catalyst for the Our Ground project was the privatisation of the public open space of Chavasse Park and 34 adjoining streets for the 'Liverpool One' extensive retail and mixed use development. The developer, Grosvenor Estates, effectively owning a private estate of 42.5 acres in central Liverpool with a 250 year lease.

Ground Control

As part of this project in 2009 Our Ground worked with the writer Anna Minton providing photographs for the Penguin book Ground Control. This book is about regeneration, security and the privatisation of public space.

Read Anna Minton's pdf What kind of world are we building? The Privatisation Of Public Space.

Add news and information to this site

Our Ground welcomes any information about the loss of public open space. Please send your information about parks, playing fields and other public open spaces to

all photographs © John Davies 2007 - 2014



news on this page

Green Space debates

Green Space Review

Meadows press News

Liverpool Local Plan

Redrow's Meadows

Save Sefton Park Meadows Campaign press release

Woolton Woods under threat

Walton Hall Park stadium plans

Local Plan & Statement of Community Involvement

Disposals of public open space

Turing Green to Brown

Ground Control

updated 17 Dec 2014

Since 2006 Our Ground has reported details of the continued loss of public open greenspace - with land disposed and sold-off for private building developments.

What is now happening in Liverpool reflects the changes taking place throughout Britain.

The gradual disappearance of our urban and green space through privatisation schemes is effecting cultural change with the erosion of our right to freely use public open space as a public amenity.

Local authorities encouraged by successive UK governments have continued to sell-off our streets, parks, playing fields, open space and public rights of way in towns and cities throughout Britain.

2013 news

Meadowland Campaigners replace notices after Council removal

Mayor 'bully-dozers' Sefton Park Meadows for marketing

'NIMBY NIMBY NIMBY' Mayors shouts at public gallery

Liverpool starts to prepare a Local Plan for future planning rules

SHLL building sites

2012 news

Forest Estate - final report

Festival Gardens opening 23 June

Survey for private public space

Forest Estate - Privatisation

Festival Garden background

Neighbourhood Parks cuts

New - Port Sunlight River Park

Occupy Liverpool & London

'Big Society' Localism Act

Land Trust call for land

Dixie Dene Playing Fields
now a private development

2011 news

Our Ground at the Bluecoat art gallery

Garden Festival Site update

English Forests and Woodlands privatisation

Priory Wood

2010 news

Festival Gardens AGM and new park

Liverpool's mess in Stanley Park

Otterspool Park land sold

Work starts on Festival Gardens Park

Campaign web site lost

'Dutch Farm' green space sold

The Value of Urban Parks

Sefton Park Lake

2009 news

Otterspool Park Privatisation and open letter of objection to City Council

NWDA fund Festival Gardens Park

Festival Gardens sewage disaster

Liverpool's Year of the Environment 2009

Springfield Park Privatisation

Stanley Park and privatisation plans

Sefton Park cafe deadlock

Tate "5th floor" debate

Festival Gardens & Promenade

Millbank Playing Fields Privatisation

2008 news

Secretary of State gives go-ahead for Festival Gardens scheme

Festival Gardens Public Inquiry ends

Anfield - new design for LFC

U-boat U532 moved to Woodside Ferry Terminal

Biennial Pavilions

Brief history of Stanley Park

Stanley Park privatised &
sports centre demolished

2007 news

Otterspool Promenade Privatisation Disposal

Garden Festival Site Inquiry

Campaign & call for Inquiry

Stanley Park Privatisation & Stadium

Stanley Park Restoration

Millbank Playing Fields Privatisation

Parks Forum

Village Green protection status

Princes Park

Sefton Park

Dixie Dean Memorial Playing Fields Privatisation inquiry

Speke Park Privatisation and Speke Parade

Walton Hall Park