More problems for the Garden Festival site

First they were opposed, after that some plans for riverfront homes were thrown out. Then on May 22nd some new plans for the regeneration of the Garden Festival site was approved.

But… it looks like everything has gone back to square one.

Via the Daily Post »

Festival gardens revamp setback
Jul 10 2007 by Alan Weston, Liverpool Daily Post

HE regeneration of Liverpool’s derelict International Garden Festival site was put on hold once again last night, after it emerged a public inquiry is to scrutinise the project.

The Government has used special powers to “call in” a controversial application to build 1,308 flats and 66 houses on land at Otterspool, which has fallen into neglect since the 1984 festival.

The decision comes as a huge blow both to Liverpool city council and developers Langtree McLean, who were hoping to begin work on the ambitious £250m scheme later this year.

It means an important element of the city’s Capital of Culture celebrations, the re-opening to the public of the site’s acclaimed Oriental gardens, will now not be ready in time for 2008….

…. The scheme faced fierce opposition from a group of campaigners, which heightened after designs were revealed for a series of apartments raised on stilts, overlooking the river Mersey.

They accused the council of “rushing through” the planning application to have the Oriental gardens ready in time for Capital of Culture year, and said they wanted to maintain the whole site as public parkland.

They raised a series of other objections, including that the housing would destroy the habitats of local birds, and increase traffic through the area, which were dismissed by planning councillors in May.

Last night Lucy Page, chairwoman of the Save the Festival Gardens campaign group, said: “We are delighted. We asked for a public inquiry because we believe the proposals to redevelop this important site have never been given proper scrutiny and assessment. The decision should come as a welcome relief to anybody concerned about the future of the city of Liverpool.”

» Full rticle

Via the Beeb:

Inquiry into festival site scheme

The government has ordered plans to redevelop the former garden festival site in Liverpool to public inquiry.

Outline planning permission for the Otterspool site was granted to developers in May by the city council.

The proposal would see more than 1,300 homes and preserve 56 acres of the Japanese and Chinese gardens.

Liverpool Council said that given the importance and scale of the project it was not surprising the Government wanted further scrutiny.

Some local residents are against plans as they feel the area should be public parkland and are worried about the construction of more apartments.

» Full article

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