At its meeting on 25th February (see last
Newsletter) Liverpool City Council's Planning Committee voted to approve the building of 249 dwellings on the site of the former Childwall Comprehensive School (Olive Mount Wing) and Olive Mount Heights. This decision had to be reported to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, because it involved housing development on a greenfield site - the School's former playing fields and ornamental grounds - and also a departure from the city's Unitary Development Plan (which classifies most of the land as 'Green Space').

We anticipated that the proposal would be subjected to careful scrutiny by the government, not least because it involved land owned by the City Council (who stood to gain financially if the plans were approved) and the expenditure of a large amount of public money (the applicant being the Liverpool Housing Action Trust). However, less than four weeks after the Council meeting, the Government Office for the North West announced that it would not be 'calling in' the planning application and that the power of decision would be left in the hands of the City Council.

In its letter to us the GONW did not comment on - or even mention - the issues which had led us to object to the proposal: specifically the loss of open space and the spoiling of the 'rural' outlook from the Wavertree Village Conservation Area. The civil servants merely stated that, in their view, 'the issues raised do not relate to matters of more than local importance' and that a public inquiry would therefore be inappropriate.

For pictures of the Olive Mount redevelopment, and more information about
our campaign against it, see the special section
of our website.

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