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The Never Ending Story of the Return of our Park! 

This letter was sent to John Grinnell, Managing Director and Finance Director at Alder Hey, Christina Williams, Streetscene Manager Parks & Greenspaces at Liverpool City Council, Joanne Kennedy, Local Councillor and Harry Doyle, Councillor in the neighbouring ward on Monday, 12th February 2024.  We await their responses.  

Dear Trust Board,


The Friends of Springfield Park after months of meetings and discussions feel that most of our observations are being ignored, examples being the swale, the disused pump house, existing play area, requests for altering plans to facilitate retention of trees, and that potentially our position as the recognised local community group is being exploited by the Trust’s need for community interaction over the Park.


As you will know we decided not to interact with the Trust for some time due to the introduction of Capacity Lab when there was an attempt to create a Community Interest Company against the wishes of community and FoSP. Once that issue was dealt with our Chair met with your CEO and had a 2 hour walk-around discussion about the issues related to the Park.  We had hoped things would be different but it would appear that everything that was said at that meeting was ignored.


Our committee members have met with you and your team in an attempt to try and get the appalling and misleading communication dealt with to no avail.


We now agree with the local community that the only contact should now be through full community meetings and the meetings should be monthly due to the continued delays on the Park.


The major issue we are unhappy with is the swale, which was always indicated to be just for the Park during early consultation. However we have found out that it was, since 2021, being designed by your design team to accommodate the adjacent housing development with the Developer helping scope out our park to the extent that Alder Hey held onto our Muga for years and subsequently moved it to accommodate the Developer.


This can be seen in the 2021 and 2023 housing planning applications but not made public. This we feel was disingenuous, at least misleading and a further indication that the contact with the Friends Group has always been a tick box exercise.


In terms of the swale we would point out our Chair stated at the recent public meeting December 23, that the swale should be filled in and adequate drainage put into the whole of the North of the returning Park. The fact FoSP have supplied a letter from the Commissioners stating the swale is for the development indicates that Liverpool Council allowed it to happen and did not inform the public. Equally neither did you.


The letter did not state the Council gave you planning permission, it stated they allowed you to do it under license, this is a very different issue one which we will be dealing with at Commissioner level.

Therefore we believe nothing can be gained from further contact at LCC/AH/FoSP meetings and we will revert to standing shoulder to shoulder with our neighbours to have the swale filled in, reverted back to that shared with the public at original consultation and get our park back as fast as possible.




Stephen McNally


Friends of Springfield Park

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