20 February 2017
The protest (pictured below) followed a demonstration in January which saw the City Council granting planning permission for the development, including the loss of 36 large mature trees which have been chopped down and removed in the past few days.
The Greens are incensed by the Labour administration’s plans to triple the amount of car parking spaces on the site when the aim of other City Council policies is to reduce car travel in the city centre in a bid to reduce high levels of air pollution.
Cllr Tom Crone, the Green Party candidate for Metro Mayor in May criticised the plans, ‘The City's leaders are just not taking air pollution seriously. The Council is building a 333 space car park without a thought for the impact this will have on air quality. The planning report which recommended members approve this awful development in January didn't even mention the issue. Over 100 people live next to this site and their voices have not been listened to.’
‘The Royal College of Physicians, which is due to move into the soon to be developed Paddington Village scheme, released a report last year highlighting the fact that 40,000 premature deaths are caused by air pollution each year, mainly from motor vehicles and industry. This part of the city is in an air quality management zone where the Council has a duty to reduce air pollution but the Council have ignored common sense and put forward ridiculous arguments for the scheme. We were outraged to find calls for consideration of the impact upon health were dismissed out of hand’, continued Cllr Crone.
The World Health Organisation has described air pollution as a public health emergency and just a few days ago Liverpool was identified one the city's suffering from dangerously poor air quality. The Greens, who spoke against the plans, have kept the pressure up on the council and are claiming there has been no regards for residents' well being and that the plans were rushed through without proper consultation, or an independent air quality assessment.
'A few weeks ago, I stood here with other campaigners, protesting against the council's plans to remove these mature trees and build a massive five storey car park and I was shocked at the disregard the Planning Committee had for these genuine concerns.' said Cllr Crone. 'I am concerned about the fact that the Council is responsible for both making planning decisions and also acting as the developer. We need to be confident that the City will make planning decisions which are in the public interest and that means a fully transparent and open consultation process on major decisions such as this.'
Earlier this week the Council granted planning permission for 51 homes on the Harthill estate, which it owns, to its development partner Redrow, sparking outrage amongst thousands of local residents.
'It's depressing to see, not just in Liverpool but throughout the city region that Labour led councils are destroying green spaces, cutting down trees, and generally failing to give the green environment or air quality a thought. This will have a major impact on people's health and well-being." added Councillor Crone.