Prison site housing plan reignites calls for new Maghull North t

Patrick McKinley

 

New Labour councillor Patrick McKinley said plans to build 250 houses on the site of the Ashworth prison site could reignite calls for a north Maghull train station.

It is understood that a planning application is to be submitted for 250 new properties on the site which was to be a prison.

As much as 30% of the overall build could be set aside for affordable housing.

Labour's Cllr Patrick McKinley now hopes the housing plan will reopen the case for a new Maghull train station.

Cllr McKinley said: "These plans are still in the early consulation phase, but if given the go ahead, it would strengthen the call for a new train station.

"An extra 250 homes in this community would mean that there is potentially another 250 families in this part of Maghull. A part of the town which is already poorly serviced by the local infrastructure.

"So as well as the housing, I'd like to see some basic shops as well as improved public transport which includes a new train station to serve the people in this comunity."

Plans to build a new train station in north Maghull were on track until the Lib Dems and Tories slashed Merseytravel's funding from £32m last year to just £11m this year.

Cllr McKinley said although the Conservative-Liberal Democrat cuts mean there is no way the station could be built under Merseytravel's extsting funding, he would work with Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson to lobby the government for funding for the scheme.

Cllr McKinley said: "Hundreds of people signed our petition calling for the new station for Maghull and that was before we heard about any plans for these new houses. The need for a new station would be even greater if this housing scheme was given the greenlight.

"The cuts to transport in Merseyside really are disgraceful and will have a very real impact on our services in this region.

"But I do know that the people of Maghull would like another train station. The Labour Group was liaising with Merseytravel in an attempt to get the green light for the station, but that was before the Tories and Liberal Democrats savagely slashed the money which is being made available for transport in Merseyside.

"We now need to go back to the government to call for them to make funding available."

Patrick compiled a petition of hundreds of names calling for the train station to be built. And although the new prison has now been axed which the station was planned to service, Patrick said there is still a very real need for a new station for Maghull.

He said: "This station was called for long before the prison was ever mooted. So the prison and the station are not interlinked.

"There is still a very really need for this station in Maghull and there is a very real demand from the people who live in the northern part of the town.

"Hundreds of people have signed the petition and backed the campaign to get the station built.

"I will continue the campaign and will be writing directly to the department of transport calling for them to at least look into granting funds for the station."