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Redrow boss challenged to Meadowlands debate

'You will not make a profit from this green site grab'

Written by . Published on September 29th 2014.

Redrow boss challenged to Meadowlands debate

REDROW, the company chosen to build homes on Sefton Park’s meadowlands, was today accused of taking a “Pontius Pilate” approach to the proposed controversial development.

The city council’s Lib Dem leader, Richard Kemp, has now challenged the group chief executive of the house-building firm to a public verbal duel on the issue.

Last week, Cllr Kemp wrote to Redrow attacking the slick PR exercise it had organised,  and accusing the city's Labour administration of acting like ‘Philistines’ in its approach to the city’s green spaces.

John TutteJohn TutteIn his letter to John Tutte, Redrow’s CEO, Cllr Kemp said:  “… it would be entirely wrong of Redrow to proceed now. There is no point in consulting if they then ignore what then are told. I warned that paying expensive London PR consultants who have little or no feeling for Liverpool is not only a waste of money in its own right but a taste of what is to come. We have identified a number of ways to delay and hopefully defeat these proposals. The people of Liverpool will ensure massive expensive over a number of years to make sure that Redrow will NOT make a profit from this green site grab.”

Mr Tutte responded by defending Redrow’s approach to developments and saying the consultation exercise was not about whether the meadowlands should be built on or not.

He told Cllr Kemp:“Your understanding of the purpose of a public consultation is clearly very different from ours. We do not see such events as a simple 'straw-poll’ on whether a site should be developed – after all, if we did then there would be far fewer much-needed new homes built.

“From our perspective the purpose of a consultation is to listen to constructive criticism and suggestions over plans for development: the principle for development is very much one for democratically elected councillors and politicians such as yourself to debate and decide at formally convened meetings.

“If the council does decide that part of Sefton Park should be developed then Redrow with its reputation for quality design remain an obvious choice.”

Cllr Kemp has now challenged Mr Tutte to “come out from behind the skirts of PR merchants” for a face-to-face debate, chaired by an independent person in a neutral location.

In a follow up letter, he says: “I do not believe that companies should adopt the ‘Pontius Pilate’ approach which you have taken. Companies as well as individuals and the public sector have a wider responsibility to leave the world better after their actions than before them.

Sefton Park MeadowsSefton Park Meadows“Accordingly I am inviting you to come out from behind the skirts of your PR merchants and debate these issues with me at a public meeting in front of the people of the area which will be affected by the building proposals.

"I am sure that we could agree a neutral venue and a neutral chairperson for such a debate which I think will be instructive for all concerned.

I look forward to receiving your support for this proposition when I will frame some ground rules under which the debate could take place.”

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24 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

RobertSeptember 29th 2014.

Wouldn't it be great if Steve Morgan (Redrow founder / owner) bequeathed the land back to the people of Liverpool. Afterall, its how many of our great parks, squares, spaces across the UK came into being, through the philanthropy of businessmen / women. Who do we have now for promoting the wider benefits of society? Joe Anderson ranks alongside the throngs of Tory-loving tax-dodgers who sit at the top of society / business piles. There'll be no more streets and squares named after these people - unlike days of yore when the top of the pile cared about the poeple under them.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 29th 2014.

Yes we all know how those warm hearted Victorians cared for their employees back in the days when everything was nice. Are you for real?

John BradleySeptember 29th 2014.

How dare Councillor Kemp claim to speak for the people of Liverpool, next set of elections he is out of a job, like the rest of the Cities Lib Dems, and he knows it. This is some bandwagon jumping and at his age he is risking a broken hip. If part of the intent is to use the courts, then by announcing here that the intention is purely to cause disruption and delay, he has just given the court good reason to dismiss the action as vexatious.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 29th 2014.

I love the photo of Richard Kemp waving from behind a group of Green Party activists.

AnonymousSeptember 29th 2014.

Just a politician blowing hot air hoping for some votes by milking a popular issue. Why did he not just have his debate in the council chamber?

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 30th 2014.

Because there is no debate about issues like this - they just steamroller them through. The only proper debates they have these days are on national issues - cuts, wars, etc.

AnonymousSeptember 30th 2014.

Because there are only about six councillors who aren't Labour

AnonymousSeptember 30th 2014.

Because these things aren't debated in the council chamber. They are decided by Joe's Labour cabinet. There is no democracy in Liverpool, it is a fiefdom. What Joe wants Joe gets. Who is going to stand up to him on his own team?

AnonymousSeptember 30th 2014.

I just don't believe that an elected councillor had no opportunity to speak on this issue. All he's doing now is jumping on a popular cause.

Bob WhiteSeptember 30th 2014.

the land is not part of Sefton Park and there is no proof that it has ever been part of the park,so this fight should be about not building on greenbelt and not a fight about the madeup name of "Sefton Meadows"

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 30th 2014.

Possibly, but didn't they find some original plans a while ago showing that it was intended to be part of the park? And even the CEO of Redrow appears to believe that it is: "If the Council does decide that part of Sefton Park should be developed......"

John BradleySeptember 30th 2014.

It was originally intended as housing upload.wikimedia.org/…/1867_design_of_Sefton_Park_with_marks.jpg…

mickeydrippinOctober 5th 2014.

Agreed Bob. One thing however, the objectors call the area Sefton Park Meadows (although it is merely a field NOT a meadow). Sefton Meadows was a landfill site near Maghull

John BradleyOctober 5th 2014.

Actually while that was a landfill, which my school backed onto and I had to run cross country of the reclaimed bits, the actual Sefton Meadows where the water meadows around Sefton. www.visitoruk.com/…/sefton-C592-V28130.html…

Hells BellsSeptember 30th 2014.

Wow alot of joe's boys on here and most called anonymous apart from Bradley! A lot of people do not want this green bit of Liverpool (see not used 'made up term') developed. Why not use brown belt land?

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleySeptember 30th 2014.

Hells Bells is well know as the Leader of Kemps dummkopf Kommandos who are even now loyal to him whilst forming a circle with their backs to the Kommand Bunker. Brown Belt isn't that a level in Judo or is it one of your made up terms, which demonstrate you don't know the origin of the term green belt.

scouse690September 30th 2014.

STOP the political arguments!! ...this IS GREEN BELT land. Pathetic comparisons to Judo, just prove the inept and idiotic comments, engaged in a personal dispute with each other. There are plenty of brownfield sites, MAYOR JOE IS TOTALLY IGNORING THE NOTION OF GREEN BELT LAND!!!! After his promise of "the greenest City in the uk???" When will you learn? It's all in his back pocket....Leaving brownfield sites unused, is a blight on the City and creates divisions between the wealthy and the not so well off!! Building posh houses on Greenbelt, is NOT the answer. Build affordable housing on brownbelt IS the answer....posh houses too can be built on brownfield sites, you just add more land and charge more!!! Simples!

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleyOctober 1st 2014.

It is not Green Belt, the green belt is the area around a city which stops it merging with other towns via urban sprawl. Where are these brownfield sites. There is more to selling expensive homes than just plots and building size. www.nytimes.com/…/28FOB-onlanguage-t.html… But thanks for the tip on converting brown field to green field, it kind of ruins the argument that when it is gone it is gone and cannot be recovered.

scouse690September 30th 2014.

Lay lots of turf and plant a lot of trees....that will change the brown field sites and promote the sale of new builds, on this type of land, WITHOUT USING VICTORIAN PARKS!!

5 Responses: Reply To This...
mickeydrippinOctober 1st 2014.

As JB asks, where are all these brownfield sites? As usual, nobody can identify them!

AnonymousOctober 2nd 2014.

Crown Street, for starters.

AnonymousOctober 2nd 2014.

Almost all of Smithdown Road and Kensington/Edge Lane. The Garden Festival site...

mickeydrippinOctober 2nd 2014.

Don't know about the Crown Street site but, I assume that Smithdown Road, Kensington/Edge Lane are already earmarked for low-cost housing for both sale and rent. Like the Wavertree Road area, which has already been partially built upon with low-cost housing, the developers are probably waiting for the last tenants to move out so that final demolition can take place. That part of the Garden Festival site which has not already been reclaimed into the excellent Festival Park, can indeed be developed into good top-range housing..

John BradleyOctober 2nd 2014.

The only bit of Crown that is undeveloped is the bit which has been turned into Crown Street park. Smothdown is ear marked for a new school. Large chunks of Kenny have been developed and no one is going to buy top of the range there. The festival sit is down for redevelopment www.langtreegroupplc.co.uk/…/festival-gardens… It does seem you happy to have other peoples parks developed on but not one near you.

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