Plans to bring a vacant site on a business park back to life in Garston for shipping container storage has been met with strong opposition from the community.
A proposal has been lodged by MREF V to change the use of a plot of land on Garston Industrial Estate, Blackburne Street, that has been cleared for some years to house a number of storage facilities, including those for shipping containers and plant equipment. Despite the application being described as “straightforward” by property firm Savills in an accompanying planning statement, residents in Garston have expressed concerns.
Around 80 members of the community turned out in April to discuss the proposals and their objections. The planning statement said the change of use would result in a “positive re-use” of the site, which has been cleared having previously housed a number of industrial and storage buildings.
It added: “The site has a long-standing position of being subject to anti-social behaviours. The site is therefore a failed employment site.
“The proposal will rectify both those positions in line with the requirements of the development plan. The proposal is therefore positive investment in the city for a land use that is confirmed to be acceptable in the development plan.”
The LDRS understands opponents have lodged their concerns regarding the acknowledgement of anti-social behaviour issues on site and a perceived lack of solutions. Issues have also been raised around operation times on the location, with a potential for work to be ongoing from 7am to 11pm.
The planning statement said it is not intended for operations to continue during what is “widely considered as night hours.” The site had been considered for applications to be used for residential units which were not progressed.
Among those opposing the new plans is Sam Gorst. Mr Gorst is also standing as a candidate for the Liverpool Community Independents group in tomorrow’s local elections.
He said, “As a resident, I have been following the development of this land for a long time. It was initially meant to be a new housing estate but sadly the plans plan through and it was decided it can only be used for commercial use.
“I was disappointed by this due to the demand for housing and exhaustive waiting lists. When it was rumoured to be a truck stop, over 350 people signed a petition to stop that.
“Now a planning application has gone through for it to be a shipping container site with constant traffic up until 11pm. Garston residents are already two times more likely to get respiratory problems due to poor quality of air. Alongside ARCH charity, I held a meeting which was 80 residents strong.
“All oppose it for various reasons including noise, vehicular pollution, house price devaluation, another eye-sore, a lack of sunlight and the prospect of even worse roads of which the council cannot manage financially as it stands”.
Image: Garston Industrial Estate. Credit: David Humphreys