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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 October 2007, 20:29 GMT
Festival site plan under scrutiny
Garden Festival site
The festival hall, built for the 1984 event, has now been pulled down
An inquiry has begun over controversial plans to redevelop the former site of Liverpool's garden festival.

The proposal would see more than 1,300 homes built and 56 acres of the Japanese and Chinese gardens preserved.

Outline planning permission for the Otterspool site was granted to developers in May by the city council.

Some local residents are against plans as they feel the area should be public parkland and are worried about the construction of more apartments.

One local resident said: "I live locally and I love the site and walking along the prom and the sense of wildness that you don't get anywhere else.

"I think that the tower blocks along the prom are a terrible idea.

"But the park which they propose will destroy so much natural habitat.

"It's a nature reserve which must not be destroyed after almost 25 years of growing up."

A local wildlife trust has also called for the site to be made into a nature reserve.

Artist's impression of what the plans will look like
Planners say 70% of the site will be made into a park

There are also concerns about traffic and the destruction of more of the city's green space.

But Mike Burchnall, from Liverpool City Council, said he had every confidence in the scheme.

"The potential is better than the present in every respect.

"It is a very complex site and a difficult regeneration project but I genuinely believe we have found the right balance and we will safeguard it for the future.

"If it is left unmanaged the legacy of the garden festival will be lost."

The inquiry is expected to finish next month.

Garden festival plans approved
21 May 07 |  Merseyside
New plan for garden festival site
22 Nov 06 |  Merseyside
Festival site set for salvation
02 Sep 04 |  Merseyside

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