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Redrow wins deal to build over Sefton Park meadows

'Luxury homes'/'tasteless boxes' will be 'in keeping with surrounding area'

Written by . Published on August 26th 2014.


Redrow wins deal to build over Sefton Park meadows

HOUSE builder Redrow has been named as the company chosen to develop Sefton Park’s controversial Meadowlands.

Campaigners have been fighting proposals that will see the site sold for housing development.

Even though the city council claim the Meadowlands falls outside Sefton Park, many people regard the tree-lined site as an integral part of the world-famous park.


'By destroying this corner of Sefton Park Mayor Anderson will be diminishing our heritage, destroying our environment and turning the people of Liverpool against him'


Redrow has officially been named as the council’s ‘preferred development partner’ for the site in Park Avenue, once described in a council document as ‘incidental open space’.

The 2.62 hectare site, which –according to the council - lies outside the boundary of the 104.75 hectare Sefton Park, was declared surplus to requirements last year.

The council advertised for a developer to come forward with ideas for a bespoke, high quality scheme which is sensitive to the area.

“The sale price of the land will provide a much-needed financial boost for the council, and be invested in projects that benefit the city,” says a council spokesman.

Sefton Park MeadowsThe campaign to keep
Sefton Park Meadows green
The council says Redrow will now hold a pre-planning public consultation drop in event in September, at which people will be able to comment on their outline ideas for the site.

Mayor Joe Anderson said: “This land lies outside of the boundary of Sefton Park and was originally earmarked for housing when the park was built.

“I have been clear that any scheme which is brought forward must be of the highest quality, of low density and in keeping with the area.

“At the moment we simply do not have enough executive homes in the city, and I believe this scheme will help us meet some of that demand, and provide more council tax income which we can use to help protect services.

 “We all know that these are difficult financial times for the council, and I will make sure the money raised from the sale of this land is used for projects that improve the city.”

A spokesperson for Redrow Homes said: “We will now be undertaking further work prior to submitting a planning application and this will include discussions with the planning authority, English Heritage and others.

“We fully understand and appreciate that this is a site in a very sensitive location. We will ensure that any planning application that is submitted is high quality and in keeping with the local surroundings.”

The announcement will be seen as a bitter blow to campaigners who have already vowed to fight the scheme when it is presented to the council’s Labour dominated Planning Committee.

Lib Dem Leader Richard Kemp said, "I find it particularly disappointing that a developer renowned for building tasteless boxes should have been selected for this site.  Despite the Mayor’s statement that this land lies outside the boundary of Sefton Park, the Meadows has been part of Sefton Park for the past 150+ years and the people of Liverpool believe it should remain so.

"If the developer and the Mayor of Liverpool are sure that there is an urgent need for more executive accommodation perhaps the Mayor would care to explain why no action has been taken regarding the land at the former Garden Festival site which has had planning approval for 1300 executive homes for the past two and a half years."

Meanwhile, Green Party members leading the campaign to Save Sefton Meadows vowed the fight to keep the land out of the clutches of developers would continue.

It says its drive has attracted support from over 7500 people "who want to keep this precious piece of Liverpool's Heritage open to everyone". 

Spokesman Martin Dobson said: “The Labour council does not need to dig up our park land to build houses. They admit themselves that there is enough brown field land to provide all the housing requirements for the next 15 years. By destroying this corner of Sefton Park Mayor Anderson will be diminishing our heritage, destroying our environment and turning the people of Liverpool against him.

"We are within nine months of a General Election and Mayor Anderson should be focusing on persuading an incoming Labour government to pledge to reverse the cuts to local authority spending and allow our council to save the meadows, properly fund the park, and many other local services."

Who is Redrow?

Steve Morgan RedrowSteve Morgan 

Cheshire-based Redrow was formed in Flintshire, North Wales, in 1974, by Garston-born Steve Morgan.

He was working as a site agent for a civil engineering company when the parent company decided to close it down. Aged 21 at the time, he borrowed £5,000 from his father and Redrow was born.

It now has a turnover exceeding £600m and builds a range of houses on sites around the country from family housing estates to executive homes costing from £1m upwards. In The Sunday Times Rich List Morgan is said to have a personal fortune of at least £500m.

In June 2014, Liverpool City Council named Redrow as one of its official Housing Delivery Partners, in a consortium made up of private housing developer Redrow Homes, affordable housing provider Liverpool Mutual Homes (LMH) and its building contractor Willmott Dixon. Redrow and LMH will build 1,500 new homes across the city.

In 1992 Morgan was awarded the OBE for his services to the construction industry. He holds a number of Honorary Fellowships, including one from  Liverpool John Moores University.

In 2001 Morgan founded The Morgan Foundation, which has awarded nearly £12m to over 350 charities across North Wales, Merseyside, West Cheshire and North Shropshire.

Morgan hit the headlines 10 years ago when he made a bid to buy Liverpool FC. A supporter at Anfield since the Shankly era, Morgan’s £61m bid was spurned by the club.

Three years later Liverpool FC was sold to Americans Tom Hicks and George Gillett for a reported £170m. Morgan now owns Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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

Mossley HillAugust 26th 2014.

'Mayor Joe Anderson said: “This land lies outside of the boundary of Sefton Park and was originally earmarked for housing when the park was built."' - So are we to expect proper, top-of-the-range, craftsman-built houses for the gentry as one would have expected on this site in 1870? Or the usual cardboard and plastic monstrosities we associate with so-called "regeneration" in Liverpool?

Shaun DayAugust 26th 2014.

We need to check the % of affordable homes is included in any plan. Open space and tree planting (outside of development) under S106 agreements. Wall heights to front of EXECUTIVE properties and in keeping with the area not the awful boxes Red Row are known for etc

Aigburth DriveAugust 26th 2014.

Why not build on Smithdown's empty green fields instead, Joe? You can pull an area up, you know. It doesn't always have to be about dragging one down.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
John BradleyAugust 26th 2014.

How much of a premium do you think people will pay to live there?

AnonymousAugust 26th 2014.

It depends how much vision the city leaders have

AnonymousAugust 27th 2014.

The Sefton Park meadow is an oasis. With the park crammed full over the weekend it was just nice to enjoy this lovely area of land. So the council say it is hardly used? How stupid is that. Every time I drive or walk close to the meadowland I am using it. It is just uplifting to see this area, it is like breathing space for the park. I honestly believe in years to come the mayor and the councillors will come to regret letting this land go. For the small amount it will raise it just isn't worth the sacrifice. That doesn't even take account of the fact the councillors are the custodians of what belongs to the city, they are not the owners.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Lark LaneAugust 27th 2014.

The mayor and the councillors are clearly still in the thrall of their new "mates" that Frankie McKenna will have introduced them to. The idea of concreting over the park won't have come from Joe Anderson.

AnonymousAugust 31st 2014.

Can't say that I often see anyone on it whenever I'm walking / driving past, to be honest.

AnonymousAugust 27th 2014.

Be interesting to see who buys these "executive homes". My money is on the sort of scrotes who appear on the front pages of the Echo, perhaps so they can be by their uncles in Mersey Road

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 27th 2014.

OH do you mean those fellas the echo calls "local businessmen"

Ray N. JerovaAugust 27th 2014.

The same people who drove their tinted-window 4WDs straight into Sefton Park during the Liverpool International Music Festival when normal members of the public were forbidden to park even around the outside of park?

Otto SpoolAugust 29th 2014.

Mersey Road? You mean the doggers?

All property is theftAugust 27th 2014.

Other cities cherish their green spaces, especially mature and much loved ones like these. I drove some people from Birmingham and Manchester around Liverpool last year and they were absolutely dumbstruck when we got to the Meadows bit of Sefton Park. They did not realise Liverpool had such beautiful spots when all they had ever seen of Liverpool on the telly was blight and concrete. But you go ahead, Joe, and destroy it, sell it off for a pittance to a money-grabbing developer of boring, anodyne housing - (the one you have already done a deal with to build 1500 more houses with LMH, which now owns all the corpy houses). It is so obviously wrong. Our visitors couldn't believe it when they learned that this glorious stretch was to be sold off for housing. Only in Liverpool, we all laughed.

John DaviesAugust 27th 2014.

Shameful, shameful, shameful. This is how Anderson will be remembered. The man who built on one of the most beautiful parts of our city.

Rosemary DomanAugust 28th 2014.

The decision to sell off Sefton Park Meadows is against the pledge made in Liverpool's own Unitary Plan in 2003, to safeguard greenfield sites and protect open spaces. This was BEFORE Liverpool was awarded the City of Culture status later that year. What happened to all the cash that came with the award?!! Surely enough to do any 'upgrading' Liverpool's biggest park needed, then. Has the Council thought of all those unemployed/cash strapped people of the City who depend on the free recreation/pleasure our fabulous green spaces offer - not to mention opportunities for children/older people to get out and enjoy accessible stretches of parkland like Sefton Meadows? Joe Anderson seems to be following the ethics of this government - in hard times, hit the poorest/most vulnerable hardest! Not the first time the Council (then Liberal) has tried to sell off land given to Liverpool residents to freely enjoy. Reynolds Park come to mind, anyone? Thought Labour was supposed to uphold the needs of the less well off? Think again, Joe, and find better ways to pay the bills!

AnonymousAugust 29th 2014.

All will be well.No planning committee in the country would be daft enough to approve such a development scheme on prized green, open space. It is designated as open space so a refusal can be the only outcome. Oh sorry, I forgot, as that silly logo goes, It's Liverpool!

AnonymousAugust 31st 2014.

This was posted today on businessdesk.com site. LIVERPOOL City Council announced this week that Redrow was its preferred developer to build upmarket homes on Sefton Park Meadows. The sale of the six-acre site, which it hopes will raise £10m, is subject to planning approval of a future Redrow application. First mooted in March last year, the plan has triggered opposition from campaigners who say they will fight any development. The council wants the cash because it is being forced to make savings worth £156m over the next three years due to central Government cuts. It must also be attracted by the prospect of more council tax from large homes. But the sale of the meadows is short-sighted in a city with swathes of brownfield land which needs to be developed. Admittedly, much of it is in parts of the city that would not attract "executive" buyers. But surely the challenge is to create new upmarket areas, rather than devalue existing ones.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
MickeydrippinSeptember 3rd 2014.

You mention that there are "swathes of brownfield land which needs to be developed." In the past, other correspondents, on this topic, have also talked about brownfield sites but nobody has really identified the locations of these sites and the type of houses that should be built on them. I would suggest that those developers, who are looking for land on which to build "top-of-the-range", houses will not consider brownfield sites unless the surrounding areas are going to attract customers with plenty of cash to spare. In other words, nobody would even think about building £500,000 luxury homes on brownfield land in the Wavertree Road or Smithdown Road areas. Those sites are therefore ideal for low-cost housing for either sale or rent.

AnonymousSeptember 3rd 2014.

But why not?

John BradleySeptember 3rd 2014.

It doesn't matter why, if no one will buy them there is no point building them.

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