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Alder Hey in the Park

As a world leader in healthcare and research, we’ve built something amazing – a brand new Alder Hey in the Park, with a design inspired by children.

A hospital built entirely in a park is something new in the treatment and care of children. It’s not just a first for the UK, there’s nothing like it anywhere in Europe.

27 February 2017 – Creation of a Woodland Walk

To increase accessibility to Springfield Park, a woodland walk is being created along the top of the bank of the Liverpool Loopline.

The Woodland Walk will comprise of a new path accessible to wheelchair and pram users and those with visual impairments. It will also include Forest School areas and seating, which will be used to deliver Forest School sessions with local primary schools and an edible planting trail.

To create areas for this woodland walk, there will be a small amount of tree removal taking place in the park. Most of the trees being removed are dead or diseased. Following their removal, native species and additional trees will be replanted in other areas of Springfield Park.

The work will be delivered in partnership with Lancashire Wildlife Trust; a registered charity dedicated to protecting wildlife and natural habitats throughout Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside.

21 February 2017 –  Update on Springfield Park and Residential Development

Alder Hey and Liverpool City Council have been working on plans to develop the Alder Hey campus and reinstate and enhance Springfield Park.  There are two main elements to this; the enhanced park and a residential development which will meet strategic housing provisions for the City Council.  The proposed residential space will include a crèche, elderly living accommodation and apartments suitable for key workers and hospital staff and some retail space for a café and/or small shops.

Alder Hey has been in consultation with local community representatives, our staff and families of patients at the hospital over these developments for some time.

There has been significant confusion over the plans since they were submitted in December. In part this was because two separate planning applications were made for the Park and a residential development on the periphery of the site, so it was difficult to envisage the overall scheme.  In addition we were only able to share the potential number of residential units with no further details of the types of accommodation, and this lack of authoritative information left misinformation unchallenged.  For example, we have always remained committed to our promise to re-instate Springfield Park.

Therefore we have jointly agreed with the Council to take additional time to consult more widely with the local community and enhance the plans.  The two separate planning applications will be re-submitted as a combined plan for both Springfield Park and the residential development.  Also, plans for the residential development will be progressed to a far more detailed stage; this will mean we can share information on the composition of the buildings and drawings of what the potential development could look like.

Since the outline plans were developed by Alder Hey and the Council and submitted in December 2016, we have listened carefully and we fully understand people’s concerns. Consultation will continue after the submission of the combined planning application.  We will engage in a number of consultation events with the local community to discuss the overall plans.  We anticipate that this will happen in April 2017.

Our intent has always been to greatly enhance the area and create something special for the whole community; that vision remains unchanged.

Why didn’t the Trust put a joint application in the first place?

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and we should indeed have done this.  It was simpler for us internally to have 2 separate applications, but of course this created difficulty for people to see what the whole programme looked like.

Why didn’t the Trust wait to have this type of detail it refers to? 

Initially we applied for what is called ‘outline planning permission’ and hoped to have this granted prior to us appointing a developer.  This would make the project more attractive for any residential development partner as there would be more certainty around planning permission.  The next step after appointing a developer would be to submit more detailed plans for approval, which would also be subject to the planning approval process.

At the point we applied for outline planning permission we did not have a development partner appointed so we were unable to share detailed drawings of the schemes as there were still 3 options from 3 different developers.  In hindsight this meant that there was not enough information for people to understand the overall intent.  We want to rectify this.

26th January 2017 – Update from Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust

Alder Hey has been in wide consultation with local community representatives, our staff and families of patients at the hospital over the past months over plans for Springfield Park and associated developments. Since the outline plans were developed by Alder Hey and the Council and submitted in December, we have listened carefully and we understand people’s concerns. Therefore we jointly agreed with the Council to take additional time to consult more widely with the local community and enhance the plans.  As was always the case, we will take the views of all our stakeholders into account for the final planning application. Our intent has always been to greatly enhance the area and create something special for the whole community, that vision remains unchanged.

Development of the Alder Hey in the Park campus and Springfield Park

The old Alder Hey Children’s Hospital was built over 100 years ago and by 2000 was no longer fit for purpose.  A new hospital was needed to provide the world class facilities required to deliver the highest standard of specialist medical care for the children of Liverpool and beyond.

An innovative land swap agreement was made between Alder Hey and Liverpool City Council, enabling the new Alder Hey hospital to be built adjacent to its old building on part of Springfield Park. This agreement was made under the condition that the parkland would be reinstated once the old hospital buildings were demolished. The intention now is to establish a community interest company who will manage and maintain the park, supported by the Council and Alder Hey.

Artist's impression: How Springfield Park could lookThe cost of upgrading the Park will be funded by the sale and development income from other adjacent land on the old Alder Hey hospital site.

The agreement is that the new park will be the same area (9 hectares) although it will be configured differently, and the park facilities much improved.   It is fair to say that the original Springfield Park, like many green spaces in Liverpool was not in a good state of repair and upkeep due to council funding constraints.  It was not well used.   The local community could see advantages in this being redeveloped with more amenities and better security.  The Council also saw advantages in establishing it as a community interest company as this provides a sustainable funding solution to create a high quality park space that would not be possible otherwise in times of financial constraints.

The park facilities will be different.  For example, formal bowling greens will not be part of the new park*, but there is likely to be a café, flexible multi -use space for informal play and more social space for events that will generate income for the Park (previously the park had no income).  Also more native tree species will be planted to replace some of the old trees that are nearing the end of their life. Pathways will be reconfigured around the new amenities.

In 2015 the new hospital was opened.  Demolition of the old hospital will start in March 2017.  Ronald McDonald House (parent accommodation run by a charity) will be left in situ.

Springfield Park: Before Alder Hey in the Park was built, and after

It is important to note that the area of land occupied by the old hospital was far greater than that occupied by the new one, as the new building is taller and more densely planned e.g. multi-storey car park.

This means that in addition to the park land that will be re-instated, there is additional land that is available to the Trust for redevelopment alongside the re-instated park and the new hospital.

One of these developments will be a housing development, and the proceeds of sale of the land will be used for the demolition of the old hospital and to set up the park as a financially sustainable community interest company. There will also be ongoing contributions from the proposed residential units that will go towards the maintenance of the park. The residential development will overlook the park, making it a safer and more active space.

A large part of the land the residential development will occupy is currently ‘Mulberry House’, a building along Alder Road.  In the original plans Mulberry House was pictured as remaining and the intent was to use it as office space or as apartments.  In the intervening years it became clear that upgrading Mulberry House was not financially practical.  A complete redevelopment offered the opportunity to create additional funds for re-investment in the park.  It also has the advantage of meeting the local need for more homes, and making the park more secure.

Three other buildings will be owned and built by the Trust on the available land:

  • A research centre (the first half of which is already built and planning permission has been granted)
  • An office block for hospital staff (planning permission is yet to be applied for).
  • A new Alder Centre, which is a centre for bereaved families that have lost a child and the home of the National Child Death helpline (planning permission is yet to be applied for).

*To ensure no loss of amenity to the local community during the years of building and when the park was reconfigured, the Hospital provided £300k of funding for improvements to the nearby Bill Shankly Playing fields that paid for changing rooms and a car park so that these facilities were much improved from anything that was available there or at Springfield Park.

How we built Alder Hey in the Park

Help make Alder Hey in the Park a truly world class, patient-friendly hospital

Alder Hey Children’s Charity provides vital funds to make Alder Hey in the Park a truly world-class, patient-friendly hospital – making a crucial difference to the 270,000 patients and families who visit Alder Hey every year.

Thanks to remarkable people like you, our fundraising appeal has raised over £20m to support Alder Hey in the Park, but we still need your support to reach our target.Alder Hey Children's Charity

A gift of £3 a month would deliver life-changing and life-saving research into childhood conditions like arthritis, cancer and diabetes.

The more we know, the more our life-saving work can grow. Will you donate towards remarkable research today?

Designed through the eyes of a child

We listened carefully to children who shared their own vision for the new hospital and thousands of families took part in one of the NHS’s biggest ever public consultations. In fact, many suggestions like better access to fresh air and nature were made important parts of the plans and it was a drawing by 15-year-old Eleanor Brogan that impressed architects and inspired their final design.

A hospital of the future

Building a new hospital doesn’t happen very often, so this is an exciting project for the north west and beyond.  Single-bed ward in the new hospitalAlder Hey in the Park allows us to use all our research and expertise to give children and families the best possible hospital experience in Europe.

Alder Hey in the Park is inviting, warm, happy, calming and educational, essentially a home-from-home for children who need care. It has spacious wards where patients can enjoy privacy and dignity with plenty of space to accommodate parents. We have vastly improved clinic areas, education and research facilities, new operating theatres and a new Emergency Department.

  • 75% of beds are single, en-suite rooms with pull-out beds for parents
  • Access to play areas, natural light and striking views of the park are available wherever possible
  • Children, young people and teenagers have dedicated areas to play and relax
  • Next generation technology improves the way we deliver healthcare

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