A new Springfield Park is on its way!
Phase One of Springfield Park is complete and new grassed areas have brought the greenery back. We’re delighted that the Catkin demolition on the remaining parkland have completed. This means we can continue to maintain momentum on the children’s playground and football pitches and complete the park restoration.
You can find details of the plans for Springfield Park on the Liverpool City Council website.
During Alder Hey’s board meeting in February 2023, Chair Dame Jo Williams apologised for the delay in returning the park back to the community saying:
“I can hear the frustration and anger in terms of what’s happened. I do recognise it’s been a long extended period of time. Nevertheless, I can understand how frustrating it can be, I am sorry that has happened.
“Make no mistake, we know this is Liverpool Council’s and the community’s park. We want to work with local people to make a place where all generations can have a safe and nice place to be.”
Oak tree remains
In March 2023, Alder Hey agreed to buy back 2.47 acres of land from developer Step Places.
This area is home to the 150 year old Oak tree which sits next to Eaton Road. We are aware of concerns and the fantastic efforts of the community to ensure this tree is protected. Alder Hey has no plans to take down this tree and we are keen to ensure that it remains a key feature of the Campus.
Potential uses of the land, including a possible nursery, are still being explored and any plans will be subject to full planning and consultation.
The Catkin demolition works are now complete. This will now allow us to progress with the children’s play area and continue towards completing the park development.
We are acutely aware that this has taken longer than originally expected. The demolition was incredibly challenging, with unexpected ground conditions including heavy concrete and boulders causing complications to both the demolition and disposal of materials.
This work was impacted further by the recent discovery of asbestos under the old Catkin site. The removal of asbestos is covered by specific regulations and we have ensured all necessary procedures are followed to take this off the Park site. Beech hold an Asbestos Removal Licence from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and are therefore fully audited and qualified to remove and dispose of it safely.
Now the demolition works are complete, we have reviewed our programme and explored various options that will enable us to maintain momentum on the park development and mitigate any further delay.
We remain confident that the bulk of the work will be completed by early December 2023.
MUGA now open
Now that lighting has been connected, the MUGA is officially open and is free to be enjoyed by the community. Find out more.
We are sorry to confirm that some works are now unlikely to be completed until 2024:
- The removal of the existing playground is expected to take place in January 2024. The new playground is scheduled for completion this Autumn and the existing playground will remain open until it is removed. However some equipment will be relocated for use in the new playground later this year.
- The planning submission shows permanent paths connecting the existing and new park running through where the gas governor building is located. Equipment in the gas governor has to be removed by Cadent Gas who has advised this could take several months. In the meantime we will connect the new and the existing park by re-routing the paths around the building. The gas governor will then be demolished at the earliest opportunity with minimal impact to the Park.
- We have begun work to prepare the ground for the football pitches. However, there is an establishment period of around a year (weather dependent) for the pitches to be treated and the grass to grow. To protect the grass, the pitches will need to be covered until Autumn 2024.
- Some seeding and planting will be taking place until March 2024.
- A small section of the swale will be completed early 2024. This shouldn’t impact the drainage scheme.
Although the majority of the Park will be returned in 2023, we appreciate how frustrating it is that the above will run into next year. We remain grateful for your continued patience and will continue to do all we can to complete the entire park redevelopment as soon as possible.
Our commitment remains to create a high-quality park that can be enjoyed by all and one that you all deserve. We will continue to update with any developments as soon as we have them. In the meantime if you have any queries or concerns about the development of Springfield Park please contact [email protected]
Update on willow trees in Springfield Park – 15th September 2023
Following concerns raised at a meeting with the local community on Monday, we have reviewed and made sure we have exhausted all options to retain the three willow trees in Springfield Park.
This has taken into consideration the different ground levels and the position of the trees in terms of locality to drainage routes and footpaths. Unfortunately, the two small trees are unable to be retained and too large to be relocated so they will now be removed in line with the planning application and the Park programme. However, the position and level of the more mature tree is better and we will aim to retain this one by working around it, while continuing to monitor the ground levels surrounding it.
We wish to assure the local community that this decision was made following extensive review and consideration to the concerns raised. Over 350 new trees will be planted as part of the redevelopment.
We are aware that the community has requested full size pitches on the Park rather than the junior pitches outlined in the planning specification. These pitches were subject to comprehensive consultation and Alder Hey has to meet the specification set out in the planning and Sports England requirement. We are therefore unable to change the size of the pitches and will continue to provide junior pitches.
We are really pleased that we have come to a joint agreement with Liverpool City Council for core lighting routes within the Park. We know how important this is to many of you and we will have more news on this soon.
The original planning submission identified a number of trees required in the Park’s design. Friends of Springfield Park have asked that some of these trees be relocated to create more open space in certain identified areas. Liverpool City Council is happy with this approach as long as we ensure any trees replanted at the edge of footpaths are a reasonable distance from the kerb edge to avoid future root growth into the footpath and disturbance of tarmac.
The planning submission outlines a strategy to drain the pitches and playgrounds via a land drainage system and we are suggesting using park swales. United Utilities has now agreed this in principle and the formation of the swales is featured within the Park design. We are fully aware of issues with drainage which affected the quality of the turf on the land returned as part of Phase 1. We are taking advice from Civic Engineers who are developing a proposal that will resolve this by installing a filter drain in the park.
A structural assessment of the Portico is underway. We will share an update on the Portico once this is complete.
We have approached Liverpool City Council to retain this to support the construction of our new Surgical NICU which is being built next to the Emergency Department. This building is scheduled for demolition by 2025.
Springfield Park Newsletters
Our official Springfield Park newsletters can be found below!
We know that Alder Hey’s Hospital and Children’s Health Campus were only made possible thanks to our amazing community. We’re really grateful for that and we’re committed to delivering a Springfield Park that will be enjoyed by all.
Help us develop a Park that’s right for you!
Contact [email protected]