You will recall my blogging before several times about the inappropriate plans put forward for football pitches (good) and location and type of changing rooms (bad) on Newsham Park, to offset, for three years, the loss of same at a site in West Derby where a new school is going to be built.
I had a meeting with the relevant officers today and with Councillor Berni Turner who is the Executive member for Parks, to discuss our concerns and look at the progress that has been made since the original application was pulled.
I then attended a meeting of the Newsham Park Forum, which reports to the relevant select committee.
I am pleased to say that the council has now identified a suitable site in the area that councillors, residents and members of the Friends of Newsham Park had wanted new changing rooms to be located to. So it is to be just south of Gardners Drive instead of the Prescot Drive end of the park.
And they have also done some homework about possible alternative and affordable temporary changing rooms and have found out about what councils in other parts of the country have used for temporary changing rooms. They offered us some alternatives and we chose a scheme that we want them to research further, of a brick clad building, with a tiled roof and possibly a bit more interesting that a plain rectangle, perhaps with a small protrusion (I have tried and failed to think of a better word for a ground floor extension, perhaps in the centre of a facade, making a T shape where the leg of the T is really quite short. What are they called?)
We also told the planners (Education chiefs and Parks chiefs) that we wanted the new changing rooms to have suitable planting and landscaping round it, to make it more a part of the park and less "plonked down".
They now understand what we want from a temporary structure and will go away to research further.
City Safe wardens who deal with crime in parks were on hand to advise about how to make the new changing rooms secure, while preferably not turning them into a fortress with barbed wire etc!
The general idea is that we will have two proper football pitches, properly maintained (and will create a wet-land area nearby, with eco benefits, to help keep the pitches drained) and they will be supported by changing rooms which will be quite close-by but not on top of our bowling green which I know there is already a need for. I have been approached by several local people who want a bowling green facility so I hope we can get this too, perhaps out of the HLF bid.
I shall now give the potentially good news to the two local adult football teams that have been pursuing me about the appalling provision in the area.