Planning Application No 17F/1805:
SITE OF FORMER GATEACRE COMMUNITY COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL, GRANGE LANE, LIVERPOOL L25 4SD
COMMENTS BY THE GATEACRE SOCIETY
1.1 The Gateacre Society was founded in 1974 as the Civic Trust-registered local amenity society for the Gateacre area. We comment on all major planning applications within our area, which is centred on Gateacre Village but extends as far as Quickswood Drive/Black Woods in the west and Belle Vale Shopping Centre in the east.
1.2 We have always taken a keen interest in the future of this site, because of its size, its proximity to Gateacre Village Conservation Area, and its protected (UDP Green Space) status. When the school announced its intention to relocate to Belle Vale, we suggested to the Council's Planning Department that a development brief needed to be drawn up - with community involvement - to guide prospective purchasers. We regret that this did not happen.
1.3 In November 2014, Countryside Properties carried out a consultation exercise - including a public exhibition at Woolton High School - about their plans to build 202 houses on the former school site. We submitted a document, entitled 'Feedback from the Gateacre Society', to Messrs Turley (Countryside's planning consultants) on 3rd December 2014. However, our comments were almost totally ignored, as indeed were those of the 56 other respondents. Apart from the reduction in the total number of dwellings from 202 to 200, we were unable to detect ANY significant changes in the plans.
1.4 Countryside Properties duly submitted planning application 15F/0516 to build 200 houses. On 16 April 2015 we submitted a document entitled 'Comments by the Gateacre Society' and on 7 July 2015 we circulated a 'Statement on behalf of the Gateacre Society to Liverpool City Council's Planning Committee'. Nevertheless, planning permission was granted by the Council.
1.5 In our comments on application 15F/0516 we expressed the view that the public consultation exercise had a number of shortcomings. The Mailing Area was not big enough, several residents who were supposedly on the list to receive a leaflet did not get one, and our Society - in spite of its known longstanding interest - was not specifically invited to participate. The 'Feedback Form' which was distributed with the leaflet was unsuitable for anyone with poorer-than-average eyesight, and the wording of the questions was, we felt, ambiguous and in need of clarification.