A year ago, we decided to celebrate the centenary of Wavertree Garden Suburb with a series of meetings and events, highlighting the area's unique history and features and culminating in a discussion of how to keep its character intact. In this we were encouraged by the City Council's Planning Department, which had made most of the estate a Conservation Area as long ago as 1971 and was now intending to produce an updated Advisory Leaflet - designed to guide residents in maintaining their properties without destroying the features which make the area special.
So far this year, we have held two meetings - in January and May - at which the place of Wavertree Garden Suburb in the history of housing reform and town planning has been discussed, and the social life of the residents through the decades has been described. Then in September we had an exhibition of memorabilia at the Wavertree Garden Suburb Institute.
Meanwhile the Planning Department has carried out a survey - in January and February - of residents' attitudes to conservation policy, with a view to producing a Management Plan later on in the year. We had hoped that this Plan would be presented in draft and discussed at a meeting this autumn, but unfortunately it seems that other priorities have taken over and the document is not ready. Nevertheless, on 22nd November we are going ahead with our own meeting on the subject of 'The Future of Wavertree Garden Suburb', to give residents a chance to say what they think needs to be done.
The Planning Department has identified the proliferation of uPVC windows and the paving-over of front gardens as two of the principal continuing threats to the area's character. What is your opinion? What is it that makes Wavertree Garden Suburb special? What, if anything, should be done to keep it that way?
We have invited the City Council's conservation and planning officers to attend this meeting, but as yet we have received no indication as to whether they are willing or able to come. If they do attend, then we hope to hear about their intentions as regards the proposed Management Plan. Otherwise, our own Mike Chitty will talk about similar plans which have already been produced for Garden Suburbs elsewhere in the country, and the feasibility of adapting them to guide the conservation of our own area.