Following discussions with Beech (our demolition contractor) we have been advised that the Catkin demolition works on the remaining parkland will complete at the end of July.
Although we are pleased that this phase of work is almost complete, we are acutely aware that this has taken longer than originally expected. The demolition has been incredibly challenging, with unexpected ground conditions including heavy concrete and boulders causing complications to both the demolition and disposal of materials.
This work has been 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 date for completion of the demolition works has been confirmed, 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 had hoped to begin levelling this part of the site in early July so we have agreed with Beech a phased approach of returning the land to us so that we can start these works while the final demolition continues. This will enable us to prepare the ground for the football pitches and press ahead with the new playground. We were delighted to start work on the playground earlier this week ahead of the planned installation of the new play equipment in September.
We remain confident that if the demolition completes as expected at the end of this month, the bulk of the work will be completed by early December 2023.
However, 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]
Multi Use Games Area
The MUGA is complete and will be opened once lighting is connected. This is now scheduled for the end of July and we hope to update on an opening date soon.
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.