Labour works to get cross-party support in campaign to oppose ma

Steve McGinnity, Bill Esterson and Diane Roberts

Crosby Labour councillors are trying to get all party support in their campaign oppose large scale plans for outdoor music festivals in the town.

Residents near to St Mary's School in Crosby have received notification that an application is to be submitted to Sefton Council for as many as four festivals a year on the playing field.

But Manor Ward Labour councillors Steve McGinnity and Diane Roberts are opposing the plans which will see alcohol being sold and live and recorded music being broadcast over loud speakers from 11am up until 11pm.

Cllr Steve McGinnity said the plans were totally inappropriate for that part of the town.

Cllr McGinnity said: "We are currently working to get cross-party support in our campaign to block these plans.

"The application will see the land being used for loud music from morning until late at night as well as alcohol being sold on the site. It horrifies many residents who have so far spoken to me 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.

"This is clearly a large scale application which is not suitable for the playing field so near to the residential housing.

"The plans as they have been described are very similar to the plans which were withdrawn earlier this year for land near Hightown.

"Someone is clearly very determined to bring these plans to this part of Sefton. We need to make sure the plans are what the people of Sefton want and do not damage any part of our community."

Cllr Diane Roberts said she was concerned about the impact of the plans on people living nearby.

Cllr Roberts said: "There are pensioners' bungalows and apartments very near to that site. They are not happy with the plans.

"How can we expect older people to have to cope with loud music of this type from throughout the day into the late evening. The application also talks about fireworks displays from around 10.30pm. This will be a disturbance to not only the residents, but also their pets.

"Then there's all the accompanying nuisance which goes along with festivals of this kind, including litter, noise, drunkenness. Imagine 5,000 people dispersing from that one area during very late evening.

"One of the main issues of complaint when the plans were unveiled for Hightown was the accompanying increase in crime, including the potential drugs problems.

"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 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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