Mayor ordered to ‘keep off grass’

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Campaigners raising awareness off Aigburth Road

Campaigners raising awareness off Aigburth Road

Campaigners are protesting over plans that would see rural land off Sefton Park sold to build luxury houses.

Mayor Joe Anderson is being challenged in his decision to build properties on Sefton Park Meadows to protect local wildlife and their rural habitat.

St Michael’s Green Party councillor, Sarah Jennings, told JMU Journalism: “The problem is that they are building on our green space before using the brown field sites that are already available and that, to me, is the biggest problem here.

“Sefton Park is beautiful and I really don’t want to see it being built on. The bigger picture is about the green space that will slowly be eroded by things like this and it’s something that we need to make sure that people are aware of.

“The light there is fantastic, the open space tells you that you have arrived at Sefton Park, if suddenly you’re going to build on it, it’s going to make that whole area quite dark and gloomy.

“I think given the volume of money that has been spent on the park over the past few years, to suddenly start building on it and subtracting from that natural beauty doesn’t seem to comply with what the aims of developing the park were.”

The Green Party’s John Coyne told JMU Journalism: “It only came into our knowledge five days ago so it was quite shocking and it seems as if the mayor has driven through it one day and thought this isn’t very important let’s build it; it’s outrageous.

“There are strong environmental reasons to not go ahead with it, there are some wild life issues, but really it’s a beautiful piece of land that people should enjoy and should share.”

John Coyne campaigning against the Mayor's plans

John Coyne campaigning against the Mayor’s plans

The mayor wants the piece of land, next to the 24 acre park off Queen’s Drive, to be developed for five-bedroom executive houses. Joe Anderson has argued that there is a desperate need for capital revenue to invest in the park and surrounding areas. He said: “I’m confident it will produce a substantial interest and amount of money.”

Campaigner Jonathon Clatworthy told JMU Journalism: “First of all a green space is special, second of all we don’t need more housing space; there are lots of empty houses. The more houses you build the more you depress the price of the houses there are, the empty houses get run down more and so it’s going to make the whole situation worse.

“Of course it’s going to make a whole lot of money out of it and that’s why they are doing it, but it’s bad for Liverpool.

“Even if we needed to build more houses, there are brown fields. You don’t need to dig up the nice pleasant green space.”

About Hannah Ashraf, JMU Journalism