The Wavertree Society's Committee has asked that this News Update should be issued, to make members and friends of the Society aware of our position regarding the Olive Mount (ex-Manweb) Sports Ground. As was mentioned in the last Newsletter, the owners of the lease are proposing to create a three-acre 'village green' on part of the land, funded by the sale of eight acres for residential development. Meanwhile the Olive Branch Wavertree Residents Association (OBWRA) is continuing its campaign to bring the land into community ownership and use. At our A.G.M. on 20th October 2013 we heard from members of OBWRA about their plans, and subsequently the Wavertree Society's Committee has given detailed consideration to the various options. As a result of these discussions we have now decided to issue a Statement (see below).

We recommend that you read OBWRA Newsletter No.2 (October 2013), which can be
downloaded from their website
. Details of how to join OBWRA are contained in that Newsletter,
and can also be found here:

For the background to this statement, please see our previous articles:

October 2013

August 2013

May 2013

April 2013

(Wavertree Society Statement, 8th December 2013)

1. We support OBWRA (Olive Branch Wavertree Residents Association) in their ambition to create a community-owned and community-beneficial recreational asset out of the former Manweb playing fields.

2. We do not support the existing leaseholders (Chris Chetwood and Paul Pearce) who plan to sell off over 70 percent of the land for housing development.

3. We deplore the tactics of the existing leaseholders in seeking to divide the community by offering £750,000 to one particular group, bearing in mind that this offer is (i) conditional on that group obtaining matching funding from other sources, (ii) dependent on Liverpool City Council agreeing to enhance the value of the land by varying the existing lease and granting planning permission for residential development, and (iii) dependent on Liverpool City Council, rather than the existing leaseholders, agreeing to maintain the open space element 'in perpetuity'.

4. We accept that some form of built development will be necessary in order to fund the OBWRA scheme, but we feel that (i) the type of development should be complementary to rather than in potential conflict with the recreational element and (ii) the built development should be located so as not to detract from the Green Space character of the land when viewed  from the adjacent public highways (i.e. Thingwall Road and Millstead Road).

5. We feel that the plans for OBWRA's proposed community centre and recreational facilities should be drawn up in consultation with the operators of the existing Olive Mount Community Centre and Wavertree Garden Suburb Institute (a.k.a. Thingwall Community Centre) so as not to duplicate their facilities and so as not to jeopardise their own applications for funding.

6. We continue to believe that the City Council's priority should be to apply pressure to the existing leaseholders to abide by the terms of the lease, or to hand back the lease to the Council so that the Council can decide - following a transparent process of public consultation - what is the best way of using the land for the benefit of the local community and retaining its Green Space character.

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