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Newly discovered map challenges Sefton Park housing plan

Victorians refused to sell Meadows landscape off, claims lecturer

Written by . Published on November 12th 2013.


Newly discovered map challenges Sefton Park housing plan
 

 RETIRED university lecturer and Labour Party member John Middleton will tomorrow challenge Mayor Joe Anderson’s claim that Sefton Park’s Meadowlands were originally earmarked for housing. 

'The Mayor is not the owner of the Meadows, he is the custodian on behalf of the citizens, in the same way the Queen is custodian of the Crown Jewels' 

Mr. Middleton, who lives in Aigburth, has carried out detailed research into the original intentions of Parisian Edouard Andre who won a world wide contest to design what is now Sefton Park. 

He will be revealing the results of his study at a public meeting at 7pm on Wednesday (Nov 13) at Greenbank College in Greenbank Lane. 

His findings are based on a City Engineers Map drawn up in collaboration with Mons. Andre which show the original plan to keep the meadows as open space. 

The city council has backed the decision by Mayor Anderson to flog the Meadowlands for up-market housing development. 

Despite the decision campaigners intend to fight to overturn the decision or have it over-ruled. 

John Middleton has discovered:-

  • A map dated 1875 by The city Engineer and Edouard Andre showing the plots of land for sale and the plots already sold. The meadows are shown clearly to have no plots for sale. 

  • That offers to buy the meadows between 1879 and 1890 were rebuffed by the Parks and Improvements Committee of Liverpool Corporation because they always wanted to keep it as open grassland.

The map and some copies of the relevant council minutes from Victorian Liverpool will be available at the public meeting. 

Sefton Park Meadows Liverpool 1

Mr Middleton has also discovered the meadows was almost certainly designed by M. Andre, a world renowned park designer, as the way all the trees were planted is exactly the way recommended in Andre’s seminal textbook “L’Art des Jardins”. 

He said: “I have given this information to English Heritage and they are currently assessing it along with our application to extend the Grade 1 listing to the meadows. It is clear that the meadows have the same international heritage value as the rest of the Park.” 

“Mayor Anderson has been mistaken to argue that there was always an intention to build on the meadows. The map that was previously displayed by the Mayor was an earlier map drawn in 1867 for the competition to win the contract to create the park. It is not the map which was used to actually construct the park.” 

The council’s contention is that as the land was always earmarked for housing, its sale now could raise millions of pounds to help the cash-starved council. 

Sefton Park Meadows Liverpool 2
Today Mr Middleton told Liverpool Confidential: “The Mayor is not the owner of the Meadows, he is the custodian on behalf of the citizens, in the same way the Queen is custodian of the Crown Jewels. They are not hers to sell. Sefton Park and the Meadows are part of Liverpool’s ring of pearls; our beautiful parks – not for sale. 

“Of course the Mayor will insist he has the legal right to sell the land against the wishes of the residents of Liverpool, but that does not make it right or moral. Sometimes the law can be an ass.

 It seems to me the Mayor and his advisors have used the map that best suits their purpose, but the actual maps created for the design of Sefton Park show the meadows staying as open space. 

“It also appears to me the council in 1867 used the creation of Sefton Park to act as a magnet for high quality housing development in a wider area. The plans I have seen show the likely rateable incomes and values of houses, off plan, which indicate there was an economic business case for building the park. The money raised from the sale of housing plots, along with the rates income, far exceeded what the park land cost to buy. 

“This was a wise economic transaction by the then city council. Clearly there was never any need or intention to sell the meadows. I also believe Andre’s intention was to use the meadows as a gateway leading to the boulevard we now know as Queen’s Drive, joining our ring of parks from Walton to Aigburth. Their vision of Liverpool was as a garden city, another Liverpool first. We should be proud of it not selling it down the river ”

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

John ShawNovember 12th 2013.

Joe wont listen, he's intent on a scrap. He's the one driving this sale. If it's an insignificant piece of land as he claims, then why sweat the small stuff. It is still not too late for Joe to reconsider and withdraw gracefully. He is about to perpetrate an enormous own goal, one his fellow councillors and his political party will not thank him for, I too am a Labour supporter.

Liverpool WagNovember 12th 2013.

Victory is in sight, you hippies. Come on!

TonyNovember 12th 2013.

Surely the people who would like to buy houses on the meadows would be just as happy live in the Welsh streets a lovely brownfield site and currently open to development.

6 Responses: Reply To This...
John BradleyNovember 12th 2013.

No.

Liverpool WagNovember 12th 2013.

Yes

a. e. ScousemanNovember 12th 2013.

The houses intended for the Meadowlands are going to be large, expensive and ugly for the rich vulgarians who buy such houses.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2013.

JOHN BRADLEY No Elaborate

John BradleyNovember 13th 2013.

A view of the back of park lane, or Devonshire East is not worth as much.

John BradleyNovember 13th 2013.

Park road even.

AnonymousNovember 12th 2013.

This is not about common sense, it's about making more money for the already rich. I sincerely hope Sefton Park meadows is not sold off,but Joe Anderson, like Thatcher, is not for turning. Maggie would be so proud of him.

Concerned CitizenNovember 12th 2013.

I too am heavy of heart of this this being done to the Park but some clue as to why they may be pushing this is found in here. Have a go and see if you can balance the books for yourself liverpoolcc.budgetsimulator.com/…

6 Responses: Reply To This...
Sifta samNovember 12th 2013.

Why indulge in a futile exercise, Joe has already predicted riots, bankruptcy and doom. This is yet another of his stunts, where are the readies he predicted from central government. If him and the rest of the suits that are trousering inordinate amounts of money haven't got a clue, what the hell are they doing in the job? No-one twisted Joe's arm, he volunteered himself for the position, if he's not up to it, it's about time he took a long stroll off a short pier.

Sifta samNovember 12th 2013.

It's not as if he would take any notice anyway. The motto "Why is it that people who think they know everything, annoy us people who do", is Joey boys very own.

AnonymousNovember 12th 2013.

He can find 1.5 million to spend on puppets though

AnonymousNovember 12th 2013.

that budget simulator is an absolute joke, it doesn't give you any real figures to make informed decisions and every reduction might as well have had Private Fraser form Dads Army running across the screen shouting " we're doomed were doomed". I wonder how many thousands were wasted on the PR stunt...

AnonymousNovember 13th 2013.

. I wonder how many thousands were wasted on the PR stunt... Exactly!

AnonymousNovember 13th 2013.

The budget simulator is an insult to the people of the city. Some kind of woe is us PR stunt. A group of headings with no meaning and no cash breakdown attached to it. If they were serious, it would be itemised expenditure and not just the main departments but all of the money spent on PR puffs, Cllrs expenses and financial rewards for being given this or that responsibility, salaries, management structures, consultant fees, the new spin doctor and of course it would contain the cost of contracts. Because as usual, Joe bleats about the terrible financial pressure and having to find £45million savings for next year, he makes no mention of the cost of the contract for Liverpool Direct or the fact that as so-called joint venture partners, we see not a single penny of what they make from external business. Not One! They still charge a massive mark-up on High Street prices, they still force the council to pay exorbitant annual maintenance costs for each item of equipment, they still charge x amount of pounds for handling a call and they still refuse to be transparent about what they are charging us for but it adds up to nearly £70million a year. They have never repaid the estimated 10 million a year over-charge which could have gone on for 6 or 7 years, so there's another £70m. So that's a total of £140m potential savings by dumping a company that refuses to be open about their accounts, has overcharged us year on year since it began and takes Joe Anderson for the fool that he must be for rolling over and playing dead for LDL

Stephanie LengNovember 12th 2013.

I bet he knows who he is going to flog it too! I personally think it looks like a boring bit of green, but instead of putting houses on it, it should be developed to enhance Liverpool and its image. Building more houses is very unimaginative. Aren't there enough empty properties in Liverpool already due to the mad building boom? Haven't the council and its buddy builders concreted things over enough? Green spaces and old buildings all over the city have disappeared. I have talked to those who remember them, fondly. Now they are mostly housing estates, sometimes of crime, sometimes creating crime. What is the council trying to save money for? To build with backhanders more overground car parks at inflated prices in prime city locations? The rest I will not write here for it is litigious

Vangogh's EarNovember 12th 2013.

I have rarely seen this area being used by anyone as a recreation site in over 30 years. Much of the opposition to the proposals smack of "we don't like change". Get over it! There is a beautiful. huge park opposite, the impact of the site being used for housing would be minimal, and maybe it would encourage the council to invest in strengthening the bridge and opening up the road around the park once again. Since the bridge closed many years ago that area has been a ghost site.

25 Responses: Reply To This...
SpecsaversNovember 12th 2013.

You are obviously well versed, but you really must try harder. In thirty years you have failed to notice the success of the palm house, the International music festival and many other events like Oye Africa, the fairs and the countless culinary events, the shire horse displays etc. I know it's difficult wearing glasses when there is no place to hang them, but it also helps if you open your eyes.

AnonymousNovember 12th 2013.

Opening the road around the park is unlikely to help an area that is already blighted by traffic. Not even if you put a bus lane around it.

John BradleyNovember 13th 2013.

Typical bit of Spin from SpecSavers. The things they mention happen in the park not on the bit of land for sale.

Michael BreslinNovember 13th 2013.

Specsavers, I think Vangoch's Ear is referring to the Meadows as being rarely used over 30 years - NOT the park itself.

AnonymousNovember 15th 2013.

And pretending to be your own grandchild and posting on facebook about Sefton ParK meadows should in no way considered spin should it?

John BradleyNovember 15th 2013.

Now what you have done is classic spin. Some posts a comment humorously stating it is by a a babe in arms and you misrepresent, that is classic spin. But like so many of the liars opposing this you hide behind anonymity.

AnonymousNovember 15th 2013.

I see, it's humour not propaganda when Pope Anderson does it. Why am I liar for stating a fact? I like anonymity, the city's full of nutters and who know what they might do?

John BradleyNovember 16th 2013.

What Anderson did was post a message allegedly from a toddler and it was on Twitter, where I saw it. What you imply is that it was deliberate attempt to fool people into thinking it was someone else's opinion. You could try post under a pseudonym so readers can tell one anonymous from another.

AnonymousNovember 16th 2013.

I could post under a pseudonym you're quite right, but I'm not going to. Where Pope Anderson made a deliberate attempt to fool people was by using a picture of Sefton Park meadows taken at 6.00 am and suggesting it was not being used. I'd like to ask you a question if I may. Has Pope Anderson ever done anything wrong in your eyes?

John BradleyNovember 16th 2013.

Was it taken at 6am. His current support for HS2 as is is a bit worrying, he should be pushing for changes. Not pushing for a bigger City Region, I could have dealt with the Boy Wonder better. The city had to break out of being held hostage by various pressure groups. The regeneration around Everton Park seem very boring and formulaic.

AnonymousNovember 16th 2013.

Yes, it was taken at 6.00 am, an attempt to deceive surely. I was in Sefton Park today and could have taken a similar picture as there was no one about. it doesn't mean Sefton Park is unused, but I could have made it appear so. At last a shade of grey concerning Pope Anderson. Who is the Boy Wonder? Warren Bradley?

John BradleyNovember 16th 2013.

How do you know it was taken at 6am? Boy Wonder = Jake Morrison. Warren Bradley(no relation) is the Scallies Dad.

AnonymousNovember 16th 2013.

It said it 6.00 am in the Echo at the time. The Echo could be wrong I suppose.The point is you can make anywhere look a bit desolate and unused, if you take the picture at the right moment and that's not playing fair. I could turn up with a bunch of mates, have a picnic, get some happy snaps and that wouldn't be playing fair either

John BradleyNovember 16th 2013.

The echo article I can find doesn't give a time, but judging by the shadows in is nearer 12 the 6. www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/…/liverpool-mayor-joe-anderson-uses-4283286… I have passed that many time and rarely seen anyone on it.

AnonymousNovember 17th 2013.

I distinctly remember 6.00 am being banded about, but that's not the point. The point is you can make anywhere look unused. I could have done it with Sefton Park at 3 o'clock this afternoon. One picture does not tell the whole truth. Seeing as you're so big on trains, do you remember hearing about the passenger surveys done outside the peak times to close branch lines? All I'm saying is play fair, people can make up their own minds.

John BradleyNovember 17th 2013.

YOu mean it is ok to make claims but not produce evidence to back them up. That was a very hot day, and sefton park its self was full. Yes you probably hear 6am bandied around and I wonder who started that? Yes I'm aware of the breeching research but this is not the same thing. That bit of land is hardly used. I'm sure if it had been packed at any point the antis would have produced pictures of it in such condition. The Beeching reports statistic where uncheckable in that no other organisation had the capability to check them. In this case the ubiquity of cameras mean that the anti have every opportunity to produce counter evidence which they have failed to do. They have stood on Bold Street with pictures of the park itself and claimed that that is what is under threat.

AnonymousNovember 18th 2013.

That picture could have been taken at any time of day, although it looks like morning to me. It is framed very narrow. The camera can make things look very different than they are. If people exaggerate their claims in either direction it is wrong. Like I said I could have made the same case for Sefton Park if I'd wanted. One picture does not tell the whole story. It was a cheap stunt. I wouldn't want anyone to put words into my mouth. Who know what the poor child's view will be when he's old enough to form one? At least Warren Bradley's kid was old enough to speak for himself, and tell the Echo what he thought

John BradleyNovember 18th 2013.

Now you are just grasping at straws.

AnonymousNovember 18th 2013.

And your not? It was a cheap stunt however you dress it up. One picture does not tell a whole story. Again you ignore the parts of my argument that don't suit you. If I posted on Twitter pretending to you, you would not be happy, and the same logic applies to Pope Anderson's grandchild

John BradleyNovember 18th 2013.

You stat of claiming it is a 6am photo because the Echo said. They didn't an it isn't. No one ever claimed 1 picture tells the whole story but don't seem to want to post the whole story. Joe didn't post as his grandson, he posted a picture of his grandson. You "logic"is flawed by one major fact, that Joe's Grandson is not capable of posting because of his age and anyone looking at the photograph would know that, that is not the same as you masquerading as another person who is capable of tweeting, it the equivalent of claiming you cat could post and that by saying you cat thought something, you where deliberately misleading and claim not only that a cat had an opinion but that you could know it. Your referring to Joe as Pope is a rather sectarian term. Everyone of your points has been addressed, what you are doing now is the behaviour of a stubborn child. There may be some good arguments against the development of this bit of land but you either do not know them or are incapable of articulating them.

AnonymousNovember 18th 2013.

You are evidently blinded by the sun shining out of Pope Anderson's arse. I said that this type of stunt was wrong whoever did it. I said it would be equally wrong if the pro Sefton Park meadows lobby had done a similar thing. We know that Pope Anderson's grandchild is incapable of posting, but this was posted as a quote from him "Grandad you always bring me to the meadows and there’s never anyone here it is always empty can’t we go the park #sad”. You liken him to a cat! A child will grow and have an opinion, a cat will not, that's why what he did was cheap and wrong. It is your logic that is flawed. I refer to Anderson as Pope because you clearly think he's God's representative on earth and is clearly infallible

John BradleyNovember 19th 2013.

I likened it to a quote from some one claim to it to be from there cat. Yes I'm sure the child will grow up to have an opinion. What is blinding you is you hatred of change. You have been grasping at straw, and continue to grasp. Joe was elected to do this job, you only think he is out of control because he isn't doing what you want, if you want to make the decision I suggest you stand for office. You where quiet happy to claim that the picture was taken at 6am, when no one else has, even you alleged source doesn't make the claim. I lave you to carry on clutching at straws and let the reader decide for themselves.

AnonymousNovember 19th 2013.

I had the good grace to concede that it may not be 6.00 am a long time ago. I do not have a hatred of change, just cheap politics. Leave children out of political agenda. Do you remember John Gummer by any chance? Pope Anderson made himself look cheap and embarrassed the city in the process. Like I said, if the other side had done a similar thing I would be condemning them also. Your cat analogy is wrong for the reasons stated above

John F KennedyNovember 19th 2013.

Knock it off Bradley. There has been less debate over where and when the sniper fired the shots on Deely Plaza

John BradleyNovember 19th 2013.

If you don't like it don't read it, oh and don't have the nerve to complain about the lack of debate in the future.

Philip CoppellNovember 12th 2013.

Chairman Anderson, I refuse to call him Mayor, is a confrontational bully, who thinks that he can do and say whatever he likes, he does not realise that what he does has consequences. He is acting in the same way Hatton did and we know what happened to Hatton. How much money is being wasted, but as usual Anderson does not care, it is not his money, he is a, here today gone tomorrow former councillor.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2013.

There is an absolute litany of former councillors, Sir Trev, Lord going to tell you a story, Icky the fire bobby Bradley, the dyslexic Keva, second fiddle Derek, the list is endless. Did they make a difference? Will Joe make a difference? Will he succeed in antagonising the public to the point of the civil unrest he predicted in the recent past? One hopes not. Still he's got no-one to blame, he appears to be managing to do a good job of that on his Jack Jones.

Judith PattersonNovember 13th 2013.

There are parks there for a reason, Liverpool is what it is, leave it alone, dump the self imposed mayor, no more conversation.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2013.

If everybody feels so strongly about Joe Anderson they should sign this www.change.org/…/liverpool-city-council-referendum-on-mayoral-system… It's no good moaning unless you at least try to do something about it

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 13th 2013.

It won't make any difference, you need paper signatures

Angry of AigburthNovember 13th 2013.

It's good enough for those pestilent nuisances the buskers to force a change in the council's policy though, isn't it?

AnonymousNovember 13th 2013.

It probably won't make a difference, but if you don't try, you'll never know. People in this city are so far down, they've given up even trying. Put your name on the list and let's give Joe Anderson a bloody nose.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2013.

No, the petition changed nothing with the buskers. Legal action did www.liverpoolconfidential.co.uk/…/Exclusive-City-council-faces-legal-action-over-busking-rules…

TonyNovember 16th 2013.

If you were out walking with the family ,what would you rather see a nice green space or more elitist housing. There was talk of a permanent stage being paid for, what is wrong with a temporary one,when needed ,then return to nice green open spaces. The last post was tongue in cheek,but when I walk my daughter to school past the Welsh streets,they are crying out to be renovated not demolished ,good solid structures not cardboard boxes.

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleyNovember 16th 2013.

It not a nice green space it is an over grown lawn. If it looked like this the the aesthetic and environmental arguments might have merit but it doesn't. www.google.co.uk/search… Liverpool has a low percentage of "elite" housing. Which affects the councils Council Tax Revenue, this is in part an attempt to remedy that.

TonyNovember 18th 2013.

Plenty of apartments empty in town with nice views ,leave the green spaces alone.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 18th 2013.

Plenty of big stretches of greened over land in Liverpool suburbs. Build there too

TonyNovember 18th 2013.

If you tolerate this...........

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 18th 2013.

If you tolerate this........... The Manic Street Preachers might play a gig!

TonyNovember 19th 2013.

Think.

AnonymousNovember 24th 2013.

I'm still trying to figure out when Joe took "Holy Orders", I did once see him with the "Immaculate Concepcion", but that was Tony, not the "Lady" herself.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 24th 2013.

He is God's representative on earth and is clearly infallible. Didn't you know that?

Ah NostalgiaNovember 24th 2013.

I can remember the first God, he was a docker in box ten, even long before Robbie Fowler put in an appearance. Joe was just a slip of a lad then.........seriously........Ha Ha Ha

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