As a sign of a remarkable turnaround, the trees lining the peaceful green corner of the land are no longer adorned with posters calling for “Save Sefton Park Meadows”.
Instead, the trees are set with signs announcing plans to seed the area with wildflowers as part of a city-wide campaign to increase biodiversity.
This is a radically different vision for the prairies than the one that first reared its head in 2013, when Liverpool Council announced plans to sell the land for ‘high quality housing’.
The plans were then downgraded to possible social housing for those over 50, but in an unexpected turnaround in 2018, Mayor Joe Anderson told BBC Radio Merseyside that no development would take place at the site.
This week, the Liverpool Council reiterated that no building would take place on the meadows, and confirmed that the land is part of a project alongside the Fields in Trust charity to protect parks and green spaces forever of the city, announced last week.
A spokesperson for Liverpool City Council said: ‘This is a brand new partnership with Fields In Trust and we are at the very beginning of carrying out an information gathering exercise on each park and space. city green – Sefton Park Meadows is part of this process.
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“No development will participate in this site and the signage is to confirm its involvement in the city’s popular wildflower program.”
In 2013, Mayor Joe Anderson defended the plan to sell the corner of the land saying it was “surplus to need” as green space with the main body of Sefton Park next door.
Blaming the Conservative government’s “savage” cuts, he said, “I’m not saying it’s the right thing to do – it’s the only thing to do. ”
But many local residents insisted the land was actually an integral part of Sefton Park – something the council denied – and therefore should be protected from development.
The move sparked huge opposition from activists, who were even spurred on by support from Mossley Hill born Gender and city star Kim Cattrall.
Ms Cattrall described the meadows as ‘the land of the people’ and the council should not develop Liverpool’s ‘wonderful green spaces’.
The council named housing giant Redrow as its preferred developer in 2014, but progress hit the buffers the following year when Mayor Anderson, under increasing pressure, asked the company to change its plans to save more. of trees.
But in January 2018, just a week after he said development for the site was still underway, Mayor Anderson gave up the fight.
He said: “I am happy to admit that there will be no housing development on Sefton Park Meadows, but there has to be a workable solution.
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“The facts have changed, we have acquired the garden festival site and our local plan has found space for 37,000 houses.
“So I’m happy to admit that it doesn’t have to be accommodation in Sefton Park Meadows and it can be a green option instead.”
The activists’ anger has naturally calmed down since then.
However, with the recent political bombs surrounding the arrest of Mayor Anderson on suspicion of bribery and witness intimidation, some are wary of the status of his promises.
Ken Aspinall, chairman of the Save Sefton Park Meadows campaign group, told ECHO: “I wouldn’t say victory yet. We are happy that the future of the Meadows looks secure and that dedication has come with Fields in Trust.
“Three years ago Joe Anderson said he would not build any houses on the land. But since then it has never been written down. ”
The Fields In Trust plan will begin with a “strategic review” to identify the spaces that have the most potential to improve physical and mental well-being.
As a result, 20 zones – equivalent to 60% of the city’s green space – will be protected in the first 12 months.
And, at the end of the process, over 1,000 hectares of land will be protected.
The Liverpool Council will retain ownership of the green spaces and remain responsible for the upkeep of all parks.