Uproar over green space office plans

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Bixteth Street Garden in the commercial district. Pic © Adele Matthews JMU Journalism

A campaign to save a city centre greenspace is underway following major development plans to build more offices.

Bixteth Gardens, a large open area nestled between Pall Mall and Bixteth Street in the commercial district, is often used by hundreds of residents, visitors and business workers to relax, eat and enjoy the scenery.

However, a joint partnership between the city council, Kier Property and CTP developers could see a large part of the landscape encompassed with office blocks.

Save Bixteth Street Gardens, a campaign group organised by locals and supported by Labour Councillor Nick Small, is concerned about how much of the green space could be lost.

A heated public meeting held at the Cotton Exchange adjacent to the garden on Wednesday evening was held to discuss the planned development and the concerns residents have over it.

After the meeting, Cllr Small told JMU Journalism: “What we’ve said, and what the residents have said, is we want to have a better park and we want to have more greenspace within the city centre.

YouTube: Adele Matthews

“Save Bixteth Street Gardens is a grassroots campaign of residents and people who work in the area, who use the park, use the gardens and who want to see better public space in the commercial district.”

The campaign group has been actively promoting the cause across social media, with an end-of-summer picnic organised last month to highlight how often the park is used by the community.

Comments on the Save Bixteth Street Garden Facebook page also discuss the disruption towards wildlife and conservation. Paula Wainwright posted:  “It’s a beautiful green space amongst the concrete jungle. Beautiful trees, attract nature, birds. Lovely sun trap. A place to enjoy your lunch and get some headspace.”

If new office space is created within the city, officials say it could benefit the economy by attracting nearly 1,800 new jobs, as well as enticing further investment.

Kier and Liverpool City Council were contacted for comment by JMU Journalism, but we did not receive a response.

About Adele Matthews, JMU Journalism