The city council is to enter into a partnership with Fields in Trust to safeguard 2,500 acres of Liverpool’s parks against future development, while the city region expects to approve a plan to kickstart its aspirations of becoming zero carbon by 2040.
Under the terms of Liverpool City Council’s agreement with Fields in Trust, the organisation would have the power to prohibit the sale of protected land and block development plans.
The council is to enter into the agreement in the hopes of realising its ambition that every resident will live no more than a 10-minute walk from a “high-quality green space”.
“With the population of Liverpool set to increase by 10% over the next 20 years, any future loss of parks and green spaces would disproportionately impact the most disadvantaged and underrepresented communities,” the council said.
The project will be carried out in phases and the first 20 areas, which equates to 60% of the city’s green space, would be protected in the first 12 months, according to the city council.
The authority would retain ownership of the green spaces and continue to be responsible for the maintenance of all the parks.
If the city’s acting Mayor Cllr Wendy Simon approves the plans today, the process of safeguarding the land is scheduled to complete by the end of 2023.
Currently, only 10 acres of Liverpool’s green space is protected, the council said.
Meanwhile, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is today due to approve its Year One Climate Action Plan, which aims to ensure that opportunities for early action in the fight against climate change are not missed, as the city region strives to become zero-carbon by 2040.
The Year One Climate Action Plan features projects that will either start, continue or finish during 2021/22 and includes:
- Progressing the Mersey Tidal project, a tidal energy scheme that could generate enough power for up to one million homes
- Purchasing 20 hydrogen fuelled double decker buses
- A campaign to encourage Active Travel
- Completing battery trials on the new fleet of trains for the Merseyrail network
- Identifying ways to help residents move to electric vehicles affordably
- Continued delivery of 52.8km of cycle lanes and habitat improvements
- Investing £11.38m to make around 1,120 homes more energy efficient
- Securing gains in biodiversity through planting and habitat creation and management
- Developing a Zero Waste 2040 strategy including plans to reach 55% re-use and recycling by 2025
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “The pandemic might have dominated our attention over the past year, but the climate emergency remains the biggest long-term challenge our region and our planet faces.
“We were the first combined authority in the country to declare a climate emergency, have invested millions in green projects and have developed ambitious plans to be zero carbon by 2040, a whole decade ahead of national targets. But I want to go further.
“This plan sets out the things we’re doing to tackle climate change and improve the environment in our area over the next twelve months. We still have a long way to go but this will be a big first step.”