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Old June 16th, 2009, 10:34 AM   #41
Babaloo
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This is what CABE said in 2007

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Former International Garden Festival Site

Riverside Drive, Liverpool

New housing development of 1,374 homes and a new public park on the site of the former Liverpool International Garden Festival site. Designed by Planit EDC.

Summary
Whilst we are encouraged by the commitment to regenerating the Liverpool International Garden Festival site for the long term, we regret to say that we believe that the housing proposals are flawed and that the vision underpinning the development of the public park is weak. Because the masterplanning principles embodied in the housing layout and expanded on in the design code run counter to the principles that underpin pleasant, thriving neighbourhoods, we believe that a fundamentally different approach is required for the housing. Given the abundance of public green space in Liverpool, a stronger vision and more compelling design and management proposals are required to assure us of the future success of the renewed park. We are not, therefore, able to support the planning application.


Project aims
We warmly welcome the aspiration to regenerate the former Liverpool International Garden Festival site. We applaud the client, design team and local authority for tackling what is clearly a very challenging project which is of great importance to both the city and the emerging Mersey Waterfront Regional Park. Although we welcome the restoration of the oriental gardens and principle of reinstating the park to the south-east, we are concerned that a clear vision for the park's role and form is lacking.

Housing
In terms of the proposed housing, we think that the site layout is flawed and are disappointed that the commitment shown to long-term maintenance and management of the park does not appear to be mirrored by such a commitment to housing quality. We feel that the inward-looking layout does not respond successfully to the adjacent park. It also reinforces the severity of Riverside Drive along the site's northern boundary, and the new neighbourhood's separation from existing areas of housing to the north. The movement framework shown does not appear to form a coherent, intuitive hierarchy of routes for people travelling to their homes, the riverside walk or the park by different means. We find the 'gateway', 'plaza' and 'central plaza' areas unconvincing and think that combining residential streets/spaces with public access to the park in this way is unworkable. Although the design code attempts to give clarity with regard to public and private space, the masterplan framework does not establish a clear, coherent or convincing pattern of purpose and ownership in the scheme's external spaces. The public routes require a clear hierarchy, character and purpose, and robust demarcation; in our opinion this has not been achieved. In addition, it is our belief that far from welcoming 'natural surveillance', residents will not welcome processions of park visitors in front of their homes.

We think that the way the grand axis cuts through the housing blocks is less successful that its definition by the landscape further south-east. We are not convinced by the configuration of car parking in relation to the streets and building entrances, and fear that vehicles and ambiguity will play a stronger role in characterising the neighbourhood's public realm than people and their homes will. We welcome the perpendicular alignment of the north-western blocks to the water, but think that the dominance of parking and the way the garden platforms are configured between the blocks mean that they will not function as successful shared gardens with shelter, containment, seclusion and a sense of ownership.

Overall, we think that a stronger architectural ambition is required, so that the special qualities of the adjoining oriental gardens are met by equally successful housing. In our view, a fundamentally different approach to the housing is needed, stemming from a clear and robust intention for the relationship between private homes and public park, together with an coherent and purposeful urban structure. This structure should be determined by an understanding of the relationship between the road, park and river with the provision of coherent framework of streets and spaces. This demands a more purposeful response. We would also note that there are many highly successful precedents in this country to help inform an approach to creating housing in and around a park. In short, we find the current housing scheme unacceptable.

Park
In restoring the oriental gardens and bringing the eastern part of the former festival site back into public use, we feel that a clear vision is needed in terms of what the park offers and to whom. With Liverpool's abundance of green space and the maintenance burden it generates, this park needs to perform a clear role and offer potential users something different and special. We think that the vision for the park should address its strategic place in the city's green space resource and in the Mersey waterfront.

We welcome the restoration of the Chinese and Japanese gardens and the attention paid to topography, microclimate, trees and habitats across the park. We think that this project offers the opportunity to celebrate early twenty-first century landscape design in a way that could rival that of recent parks on the continent, and it is disappointing that the proposal does not grasp this opportunity more.

In our view, the park should form a primary entrance point to the Mersey Waterfront Regional Park; to do so, excellent pedestrian access to the park from surrounding areas must be committed to.

We fully support the involvement of the Land Restoration Trust and are impressed by the commitment to the long-term success of the park through well-funded and careful maintenance and management. However, we understand that many decisions regarding what the park provides and how will be taken by a managing partner yet to be appointed. Their business plan for the park will be pivotal in its future success; we think that their appointment should be made as soon as possible.

Delivery
We understand that a complex financial equation underpins the type and quantum of development and the extent of park reinstatement on this site. We wonder whether a greater quantum of housing might help deliver a park that offers more to its users, responds to its city-wide/regional status to a greater degree, and which reduces the revenue burden for the managing partner. We also suspect that the current housing configuration does not maximise the potential value to be derived from the interfaces with the adjoining park and river. The housing around Regent's Park in London, together with that overlooking Parc de Bercy and Parc André Citroën in Paris might provide useful exemplars. Please also refer to CABE Space's recent publication Does Money Grow on Trees?

Sustainability
We think that a development of this nature and status should achieve a very high standard of environmental sustainability and set a benchmark for future development in Liverpool. In terms of social sustainability, we think that there is greater scope for community involvement in the park, for other types of private and semi-private gardens, and for the promotion of interaction between people from neighbouring housing areas in the park.

Design code
The design code for the developed core would appear to be thorough; it attempts to address the need for hierarchy, the definition of external spaces and the establishment of positive interfaces. However, the masterplanning principles underpinning it are flawed, as already explained, and a code cannot mitigate these flaws.

Looks like 3/10 for the architecture and 9/10 for the park.
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 11:51 PM   #42
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A report with photos showing the Garden Festival site, as of early May - http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/forums/...ad.php?t=40088

Depressing and disgraceful in equal measure.
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Old June 25th, 2009, 02:11 AM   #43
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Seeing the Blue Peter dragon just abandonned like that is a disgrace - I entered the competition to design that when I was about 7!

They should bully the builders to do something or tell them to F*ck off and plant an urban forest (like it was turning into!) with walks, cycle riding an perhaps something like "Go Ape"!
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Old June 25th, 2009, 11:12 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicksanderson View Post


Seeing the Blue Peter dragon just abandonned like that is a disgrace - I entered the competition to design that when I was about 7!

They should bully the builders to do something or tell them to F*ck off and plant an urban forest (like it was turning into!) with walks, cycle riding an perhaps something like "Go Ape"!
Funnily enough, tehre are plans for a large scale activity centre nearby, on the prom. Plans are relatively advanced but they are dependant on further investment.
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Old June 25th, 2009, 11:59 AM   #45
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I recall someone from one of the local residents groups previously saying the site should be left alone to return to nature, however I think those photos prove that that just isn't viable. There are still far too many decaying buildings etc left on site for that to happen. Besides, there is the potential for this site to become a new park for the city, with stand-out features like the oriental gardens, making it of even greater value. Even if the many traces of human activity weren't an issue, leaving the site to nature would merely be extending the many years of missed potential this site already represents.
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Old June 25th, 2009, 12:17 PM   #46
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Well, hopefully with the gardens upgrade gonig on site very soon, we should see some progress happening.
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Old June 25th, 2009, 04:17 PM   #47
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Forgot all about these vids I made on the festival site I had stashed on an external hard drive..

Edited..

Video deleted...

Last edited by Ged; June 25th, 2009 at 08:04 PM.
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Old June 25th, 2009, 11:54 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ged View Post
Forgot all about these vids I made on the festival site I had stashed on an external hard drive..

Edited..

Video deleted...
Fine vids, Ged, bloody waste of a Garden Festival though.

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Old June 26th, 2009, 12:05 AM   #49
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deleted?

I didn't get a chance to view it this morning!
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Old June 26th, 2009, 01:41 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v4vendetta View Post
Fine vids, Ged, bloody waste of a Garden Festival though.

Thanks Dave..bloody waste is correct.
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Old June 26th, 2009, 01:48 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Sebo View Post
deleted?

I didn't get a chance to view it this morning!

Sorry Tone, I removed 2 vids I added today as they turned out shite on here..
I've added a few Garden Fest area vids along with a few vids I made around the Stanley Tobacco Warehouses...they're all on Youtube if anybody wants to see them..
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Old June 26th, 2009, 10:47 AM   #52
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Nice one Ged. Do you have an account or do you just search for the theme etc?



I don't use youtube that much!
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Old June 26th, 2009, 11:31 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Sebo View Post
Nice one Ged. Do you have an account or do you just search for the theme etc?



I don't use youtube that much!
http://www.youtube.com/user/Liverpoolphotoman
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Old June 26th, 2009, 12:15 PM   #54
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..Cheers Dave..


I'll be adding more vids today inc 1 around the Cunard Building basement showing the remains of the Georges Dock from from 1770 thats hidden away in a little room, and a few more to come around the Stanley Warehouses, canal link under construction around the Waterloo Dock..and around the Clarence Graving Docks..

And a few on the Concourse House balcony over looking Lime St..

For those Into this kind of thing...
Theres 3 adult Peregrine Falcons nesting (together..very rare) on the roof of the main Stanley Warehouse....
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Old June 26th, 2009, 07:10 PM   #55
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Some superb videos on there, thanks Ged!
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Old June 26th, 2009, 08:57 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkG View Post
Some superb videos on there, thanks Ged!

Cheers Mark..glad you like them...
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Old June 26th, 2009, 08:59 PM   #57
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Thanks Dave.

Some really good stuff there Ged, I'll be going back for a look through some more soon.

the poor International gardens... seems like another lifetime!
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Old June 26th, 2009, 10:44 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Sebo View Post
Some really good stuff there Ged, I'll be going back for a look through some more soon.

the poor International gardens... seems like another lifetime!
Thank you Tone...

It does seem like another lifetime since my 2 lads both called it the Garden Vegetable instead of the Garden Festival...
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Old August 25th, 2009, 10:45 AM   #59
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Quote:
Liverpool's Garden Festival site to reopen
Aug 25 2009
Liverpool Daily Post

THE restoration of Liverpool’s Garden Festival site can finally start following the release of £2.1m of funding for new public attractions.

Developers Langtree and the North West Development Agency (NWDA) say they hope the funding will allow the neglected south Liverpool site to be “restored to its former glory”.

The funding windfall will see work done to improve the Chinese and Japanese gardens and pagodas, as well as to lakes, watercourses and woodland sculpture trails.

A further £1.6m is currently being sought from the region’s European development fund, bringing the total package for the restoration of what has been described as “a blot on the Liverpool landscape” to £3.7m.

City council leaders have welcomed the news that the Otterspool attraction can begin to take on a new lease of life.

Council finance executive member Cllr Flo Clucas said: “It has been a matter of real shame that these formal gardens were allowed to get into such a poor condition following the International Garden Festival, but now they will be restored and, importantly, there are plans in place to maintain them.

“In our Year of the Environment it is highly encouraging that more green space is to be opened up to the public.”

Developer Langtree has been working on ambitious plans for a 1,300-apartment residential project for the site, but its partner, David McLean Homes collapsed last year.

It insisted that it would press ahead with the plans despite the McLean collapse, and its managing director John Downes said the company remains “fully committed” to delivering the residential side “as soon as the market conditions allow.”
Continues >>
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Old August 25th, 2009, 10:55 AM   #60
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Be interesting to see what the restoration will end up looking like.
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