Crosby Labour councillors meet police and launch petition over '



Steve McGinnity and Diane RobertsCrosby Labour councillors Steve McGinnity and Diane Roberts have launched a petition as part of a campaign to stop plans to bring up to four four-day music festivals to the centre of the town.

The two popular Labour councillors spoke to residents bordering the proposed 'rave' site on St Mary's College playing field along Little Crosby Road.

All residents who were canvassed opposed the plans, some calling the application "disgraceful".

Cllrs McGinnity and Roberts took the concerns to Crosby Neighbourhood Inspector Diane Prosser.

Cllr McGnnity said: "Speaking to the residents who will be directly affected by the music festival application, you can hear just how concerned they are. Many are elderly and are very concerned that they may have to live next to a 'rave' site, with all the problems that brings.

"The application will see the land being used for loud music from 11 o'clock in the morning until 11 o'clock at night as well as alcohol being sold on the site. It horrifies local people that there could be as many as 5,000 people descending on the area for festivals which could last for up to four days at a time as many as four times a year.

"Many of the properties bordering this area are pensioners' bungalows. They are scared sick of what the area will turn into. It is very difficult not to imagine their worst fears - drunkenness, crime, excessive noise, traffic congestion and even drug taking.

"These are the concerns which I put to Insp Prosser, who has assured me that she will look into this application personally."

Cllr Roberts said she was very concerned for the welfare of many nearby residents.

Public notice on lamp postCllr Roberts said: "The first many of these residents knew about the plans was when the public notices started appearing on the lampposts around the area. They received a letter from St Mary's mentioning a one-off music festival, but the four four-day plans were a total bolt out of the blue.

"They have some very valid concerns about this application - concerns which we need to ensure are heard before the plans are even considered.

"One of the main fears is the expected accompanying increase in crime. Fears which we have already put to our Neighbourhood Inspector. But while the Conservative and Liberal Democrat government are hell bent on reducing the number of police officers in Merseyside, will we have enough of a police presence to cope with this?"

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson, said he will also be meeting with residents from throughout Crosby to discuss their opposition to the plans.

Bill said: "Cllrs Roberts and McGinnity raise some very valid concerns about these plans, concerns which have been echoed by local residents.

"As with any large scale development of this kind, I want to see the local community fully consulted before any decision is made. This includes listening to all of the concerns. If these concerns cannot be addressed and resolved, then the application must be rejected.

"I will be speaking to as many people as possible to hear their concerns and ensure that these concerns are raised with Sefton Council and with members of the planning department.

“The Conservative-Lib Dem changes to the planning rules allow developers to speed up the planning process. Plans of this type show the dangers of making life easy for developers and are one of many examples of the government’s changes being too far and too fast.”

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