OLIVE MOUNT SPORTS GROUND:
THE OWNERS 'CHANGE DIRECTION'
Five months after the Public Consultation event, held in the ex-Manweb clubhouse, we have now heard from Paul Pearce and Chris Chetwood who own the lease of the former sports ground. They say that their plans for a youth football facility got an 'incredibly mixed reception' from local residents and that, while some people had no problem with the proposals, there were significant concerns expressed with regard to noise and traffic. As a result they have now written to the occupiers of the 100+ houses directly adjacent to the sports ground, offering one-to-one discussions of a 'significantly different idea' for the site.
The new proposal involves the creation of a three-acre 'village green' fronting onto Thingwall Road. At the rear of the site will be an estate of about 110 houses, accessed from Millstead Road and Thingwall Road. Some of the houses will front on to the green.
The owners say that their aim is to 'put another garden into Wavertree Garden Suburb'. They envisage that the 'village green' will comprise a mixture of colourful planted areas, grassland for community use, paved pathways to provide pedestrian routes across the site, and will possibly include a performance space where open-air events could be staged. They anticipate that the landscaped area will be handed over to Liverpool City Council, subject to the Council signing a legally binding agreement to maintain it in perpetuity.
The owners also envisage being able to make a 'substantial financial contribution' to the Wavertree Garden Suburb Institute, to enable the upgrading of its community centre and tennis facilities further along Thingwall Road.
The owners say that they will not be submitting a planning application until they are confident that their proposals have the broad support of the local community. (The City Council will need to agree to modify the terms of the lease, as well as to grant planning permission, before the development can go ahead). Individual residents who meet Messrs Pearce and Chetwood are being asked to sign a form confirming their support for the proposals, or suggesting modifications to them. The owners say that they are looking for detailed and critical comments - whether positive or negative - and that the responses may cause the plans to be further modified.
The Wavertree Society's Committee has not, as yet, had an opportunity to discuss the latest proposals - but we have, in the past, expressed our strong opposition to the loss of this substantial area of greenspace and advocated its continued use for recreational purposes. The future of the land will, no doubt, be one of the main discussion items at our A.G.M. on 20th October, so please come and give us your views.
Meanwhile the Olive Branch Wavertree Residents Association is continuing its campaign to bring the field into community ownership and use, and we also hope to hear from them at our A.G.M.