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National Trust Formby Planning Application refused unanimously by Sefton Council

Plans for major changes to the car park at National Trust Formby at Victoria Road Squirrel Reserve site that were set to be approved have been REFUSED.

The proposals, submitted to Sefton Council by the National Trust, involve relocating the existing car park to an area further inland near woodland dunes. The current location of the car park is in a special area of conservation and its removal will allow sand dunes to reform in the area, The National Trust said.

Several objections were lodged against the plans. Neighbouring Formby Golf Club expressed concerns about potential noise and dust during construction and once the car park is operational, saying it was “disappointed” the National Trust had not consulted the golf club about the plans.

Residents also expressed concerns at plans to remove trees from the wooded dune area to create the new car park and citing the potential impact this could have on the area’s rare red squirrel population. It was also said they fear increased traffic along Victoria Road as a result of the proposals and querying why a Park and Ride scheme had not been considered instead.

Over 560 trees would be felled to build the new car park, with the applicant stating it could replace the trees on a one to one ratio to ensure no tree loss overall, however the report states this would not be a feasible option as the habitat being removed was “irreplaceable” although the loss would be balanced out by the wider ecological benefit of moving the existing car park.

The application was REFUSED. The planning Committee voted unanimously against the planning application for the new car park in the woodland at Freshfield. All parties, Lib dem, Labour and Conservative agreed to refuse the application.

A spokesperson from Sefton Council said: “A decision to refuse the application has been made. We are required to notify all consultees on the decision for this application type under The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017.”

“The reason for this refusal is that the application will result in the loss of 561 mature and semi-mature trees, which is an unacceptable loss of existing trees and associated woodland that will cause detrimental harm to visual amenity.”

“This is contrary to the aims and objectives of Formby & Little Altar Neighbourhood Plan policy ESD7 'Trees and Landscape' and Seton Local Plan policy EQ9 'Provision of Public Open Space, Strategic Paths and Trees'. The benefits of the proposal don't outweigh this impact and as such the proposal is unacceptable.”

The application, including the decision notice, committee report and late representations can be viewed at

Freshfield Caravan Park

The fight to save Freshfield Caravan Park still continues with the National Trust. The site are still in discussions with NT to allow an alternative access for the caravan site as their original road still remains blocked by NT with no permission to clear it.

There is still no access for cars to the caravan park which still has nine years remaining on its lease!

The residents are now allowed in for the Summer period as long as they walk into the site.

The report for the planning application added that concerns around access to the Freshfields caravan site, including around the build up of sand in front of the site, were outside the planning process as there were no changes proposed as part of the application.



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