Consultation results for the location of the Multi-use Games Area at Springfield Park
Springfield Park is a beautiful green space in Knotty Ash, Liverpool, owned by Liverpool City Council. Development work is underway by Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to turn land where old hospital buildings stood into parkland. A restored, beautiful Springfield Park will be complete in 2023.
Alder Hey are required to install a park, with trees, paths, planting, park seating, signs, bins, a new inclusive and accessible children’s play area and a MUGA (multi-use-games area), 2 football pitches with drainage, an outdoor gym and an outdoor performance space.
In December 2020, we asked local residents where they would like the Multi-use Games Area at Springfield Park to be located. We have written up what they told us below. We would like to thank everyone who responded to the consultation.
Alder Hey will now consider this information and then submit a planning application to Liverpool City Council based on the information received. Once their planning application has been submitted, Alder Hey will make this available to us. We will share it on this page, and you will have the opportunity to make further comments on the application directly to the Council. Please check back for updates.
Alder Hey plans to submit an application for discussion in the Council’s February’s planning committee. A final decision by the Council will be made in the new year following their formal planning process.
Members of the public who live near Springfield Park were shown drawings of two potential locations of the Multi-use games area (MUGA). The consultation was promoted through emails, social media, and through door-knocking along Alder Road and South Drive, where we dropped off plans and talked to residents.
Respondents were asked to choose a preferred location for the MUGA:
Option 1: To the west of the new Springfield Park car park, running alongside Alder Road
Option 2: To the south of the new car park, nearer to the proposed new children’s play area
OR Don’t mind either location
People could respond via email or a brief online survey between Monday 7th December – Sunday 13th December 2020.
There were a total of 67 respondents: 64 responded to the survey, and a further three responses via email.
Don’t Mind either location
Refrained from choosing an option, requesting the original masterplan location
Refrained from choosing an option, requesting a new location on Sainsbury’s side of the park or more centrally
% of all respondents
There was a preference for the MUGA to be located to the south of the car park, with 64% of respondents choosing this option. 16.5% of respondents explained that they felt none of the options provided were acceptable and refrained from choosing any of the options provided.
The consultation targeted nearby neighbours; 70% of survey respondents live within a mile of Springfield Park and 8% on Alder Road. 44% of survey respondents visit the park weekly, with 35% visiting monthly and 8% visiting it every day. 17% of survey respondents want to play sports on the MUGA and 46% are parents of children who want to use the facility.
Responses about the MUGA
64% of all respondents preferred option 2, with the MUGA being located to the south of the car park and closer to the proposed new children’s play area. People preferred this location as it is:
- Closer to the play area, allowing parents and carers to supervise children of different ages at the same time
- Further from Alder Road: less risk of balls in road
- Further from Alder Road: less risk of noise for residents
- Further from Alder Road: safer for children further from the road
- Further from Alder Road: lights would impact residents less
- Better for residents for it to be more central
- Closer to the hospital
16.5% of respondents stated that neither of the options provided were acceptable. Of these respondents:
- 18% suggested the MUGA be located on the Sainsburys side of Springfield Park, or more centrally in the park. A detailed response from a neighbouring stakeholder has been presented to Alder Hey for review alongside this report.
- 82% said that they would support the location which was agreed with the community during the masterplan consultation in 2019. From this group, residents expressed concerns that results of previous consultations were not being upheld, that the timeframe of the consultation was too short, and that the original masterplan location was no longer one of the available options.
Whilst the original location of the MUGA on the masterplan was also south of the car park, this is slightly different to the location suggested in Option 2. Alder Hey have responded to explain that this change in position is due to a design development. Liverpool City Council have provided Alder Hey with a detailed list of items which must be included in the new park. The model required includes a basketball hoop on the outside (fig 1); this was not taken into consideration on the masterplan. Additional spacing has to be created to allow people to use the path without having to navigate people using the outer hoop. The MUGAs position has therefore been moved slightly to accommodate this.
Figure 1 paragraph from the Liverpool City Council specification regarding MUGA facilities required in Springfield Park
Some respondents asked the following:
- Is it possible to remove the basketball hoop so that the MUGA can be positioned as in the original masterplan?
- Who decided that the MUGA required a basketball hoop on the outside? And why have we not been consulted on this?
- If the MUGA is positioned as per Option 2, and not as per the masterplan, how would this impact on the proposed location for the café? Can the café still go ahead in the proposed location?
The development of Springfield Park was welcomed with comments including:
- Limited for places to take children to exercise – a MUGA will be a great resource
- It’s great to see the park updated and with much better facilities.
The consultation provided an opportunity to listen to general feedback from the local community. Issues included:
- The poor handling of the Springfield Park development
- The need for more time to feed back on the options presented
- The speed of cars on Alder Road (above 30mph)
- The existing congestion and traffic on Alder Road
- The existing problems with anti-social behaviour
- Scrambler bikes
- The potential for the park car park to become an overflow car park for the hospital, exacerbating existing issues
- The location of the planned footpath opening onto Alder Road:
- Vehicles coming from Queens Drive side may be unable to see small children/dogs as it is close to the hump on Alder Road
- Safety concerns due to the speed of vehicles on Alder Road
- Poor visibility from Queens Drive direction due to the hump
- It will provide a place for young people to congregate
- Safety concerns for people crossing or congregating with it being poorly lit
- Its proximity to the loopline will increase opportunities for gangs/anti-social behaviour access to Alder Road and the park
Solutions which would be welcomed by those who responded include:
- Transparent and regular updates about changes
- More opportunities to be consulted on design changes to the masterplan
- Speed bumps on Alder Road – which could now be an option, as ambulances use an alternative route
- Lighting in the park, considerate to residents
- Removal of the planned park footpath opening onto Alder Road, redirecting pedestrians to the car park entrance
We would like to thank everyone who responded to the consultation.
Alder Hey will now consider this information and then submit a planning application to Liverpool City Council based on the information received. Once their planning application has been submitted, Alder Hey will make this available to us. We will share it on this page, and you will have the opportunity to make further comments on the application directly to the Council.
Please check back for updates.