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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 November 2006, 09:37 GMT
New plan for garden festival site
Garden festival site
The gardens will be ready for 2008 - Liverpool's Capital of Culture year
A 250m plan to return the Liverpool International Garden Festival site to its former glory has been unveiled.

Developers are submitting a planning application to demolish the derelict festival hall to make way for 1,300 homes and restore 56 acres of grounds.

The site has been neglected for about 20 years as a series of projects have failed to be realised.

The park would be the first built in Liverpool for 25 years and is expected to be ready by Capital of Culture year.

The 1984 International Garden Festival was the first of its kind in the UK and billed as "a five month pageant of horticultural excellence and spectacular entertainment".

Garden Festival site
The festival hall is derelict

After the festival, the site changed hands several times and half the grounds were later developed for residential use.

Haydock-based commercial developer Langtree, which bought the site near Otterspool in July 2004, has joined forces with the David McLean Group to restore the area.

It plans to cultivate the site's gardens - including the original Chinese and Japanese gardens - in partnership with the Land Restoration Trust.

When completed, the gardens will be opened to the public, the developers hope, in time for 2008.

Coun Warren Bradley, leader of Liverpool City Council, has welcomed the development, saying it was "encouraging" progress was being made.

Garden vision

"The former International Garden Festival site is one of the most important gateway routes into the city and demands a development of the highest quality," he added.

Speaking to BBC Radio Merseyside, project manager David Rolinson agreed the site had been derelict for too long.

"It's a plug really that sits and prevents the community from linking to the waterfront but also prevents the Mersey waterfront functioning as it should as a continuous landscape corridor," he said.

"Our vision is to reconnect it and create a new regional waterfront park that builds on those existing features that we can retain and enhance."


SEE ALSO
Festival site set for salvation
02 Sep 04 |  Merseyside

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