Festival Gardens
The site in South Liverpool used to house the city's international gardens, which closed in 1996

Liverpool’s Festival Gardens gathers speed

Sarah Townsend

Remediation work at the 23-acre former gardens site is permitted to start now, after the council applied to discharge planning conditions to prepare the site for the delivery of up to 1,500 homes.

The remediation work was recommended for approval at a Liverpool City Council planning meeting in April, subject to conditions.

Under the plans, contractor Vinci Construction is to carry out a clean-up operation at two sections of the Festival Gardens site in South Liverpool, which is split up into three zones.

Of these, the so-called ‘development zone’ at the north west part of the site, previously referred to as Festival Park and the location of the former Festival Hall, will be remediated for residential development, while the Southern Grasslands area, comprising open green space in the south-east part of the site, will be landscaped.

The planning application also proposes a temporary haul road between the development zone and the gardens, the third section of the site.

The scheme is being delivered by a joint venture between Liverpool-based developers Ion Developments and Midia. BDP and AHR are the architects on the project.

Last year, Homes England agreed to provide a £10m grant to help fund the project.


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1500 new homes. Why not build them a new train line that goes direct to their place of work in the other city while we’re at it? Mission accomplished.

By Michael McDonut

It does not look very inviting to be fair. Burnley by the sea.

By Anonymous

Who`s going to live there?

By Anonymous

another grant for the city that gets least;

By Anonymous

How does this plan fit in with the proposed Mersey Barrage?

By Forward Thinker

Brilliant news! Great to see some solid progress. It’s got the potential to be a brilliant well connected neighbourhood.

By snoutsthetrough

I’d be interested to see the transport plans around this site. No doubt will include cycle lanes etc. but Riverside Drive cannot take the volume of thousands of cars generated from 1,500 homes. Unless the necessary changes are made to the road network it will hardly be Building Back Better will it?

By John Smith

Lots of great potential around this site, some great green spaces and if done right there will be plenty who want to live there. As we know all of the world’s greatest cities sit on the banks of a river. Some sad trolls on here, but I guess what else are they going to do whilst on furlough? @John Smith is correct on the transport links. Train-wise, St Michael’s is close, potential to reopen the Otterspool station too. There has been talk of a dual carriage-way upgrade through to Aigburth road, but this needs some serious consideration.

By L8M8

John, why on earth would there be “thousands” of cars from a site that sits adjacent to the coastline cycle route that takes you all the way to the Pier Head without crossing a single road, and is a 3 minute walk to St Michaels station (7 minutes into town)? You’re living in the 1970s my friend

By Friends

What happened to the idea of a leisure based attraction like a indoor waterpark? The council even invited interested parties to submit their plans. Is that not going forward now?

By Phil

@Anonymous it’s beautiful down there, it’s right on the river where you can regularly watch Porpoises up close and amazing birdlife. If it was inland it mightn’t be very inviting, but the air is fresh in from the sea as opposed to chimneys in industrial heartlands.

By Anonymous

No shops..no local amenities….one pub….poor road layout……living in the back of beyond….no thanks !!!

By Anonymous

Beautiful coastline around otterspool, this will be a great place to live with excellent views across the river in a woodland setting. I’d personally much rather live in this location than say a dull industrial ex-milltown in a high rise rabbit hutch.

By L15

The Mersey looks very murky, especially when compared to the Dee estuary.

By Heswall

Most householders now have 2cars, some have 3cars like my lovely next door neighbour. So with a extra 1500 properties being built, it’s about roughly a extra 2500 automobiles all going to work between 7am and 9am on Monday to Friday in that area. These workers will not all work in Liverpool. Also some of these workers work miles away, like Warrington, Wigan and the Wirral, basically all over the northwest.

By Darren born and bred in Salford

what happened to the plan for a lighthouse and leisure facilities?

By andy

Looks bleak

By Anon

if this development is completed it will be great for our region , and the sefton street area of the city in particular, given that the herculaneum quay project is about to deliver too,.
in terms of transport this is why we need a downtown tram network linking in these major new schemes,such as this, the everton stadium and the knowledge quarter ,and 6 to 7 miles of track should cover this ,coming down from paddington via lime street to the waterfront, then branching north and south to otterspool and bramley-moore dock, and ten streets.
the bilbao city tram in northern spain is a good example.
as an aside is it not time garston village was regenerated,it could become a trendy area if quality new ,well designed housing was added to the current homes and empty shops, as it is very convenient for the airport and south parkway station.

By sound

Beautiful part of the City coastline picture does not do it justice

By Den

Clear from the comments, by some, especially anonymous, they have never been anywhere near the site. Wouldn’t be so negative it they had.

By Cazziebythesea

A beautiful walk to the city centre via the Liverpool Marina from here. I love this area, I jump on the Northern Line from the Sefton Coast to walk Liverpool’s other prom, plus Sefton Park, and Lark Lane. It’s 5 minutes (2 stops) from the city centre and 20 minutes from Liverpool’s northern prom and beach at Crosby: the one with Anythony Gormley’s ‘Iron Men’. This is a great area, in a great city, with a great quality of life and it’s so sad that people from outside the area, who know nothing of it, waste their energies with such negative trolling. The Festival Gardens will be a very exciting place and I can’t wait to watch it unfold.

By The Crows Nest

Can’t they move this to Heswall?
They need investment there?

By Heswall or bust!

Why not bring land back to its former glory open space to enjoy

By Anonymous

@L15 and Anonymous
You’re comparing living in a former gardens to living in an urban area.
If you compared it to other more similar areas of the industrial city, such as the southern areas, you’d realise why people are choosing to live there instead. If you were to compare it to the National Park areas then there really is no argument, extremely beautiful.
However I have friends who would be interested in this area and I think this will be a fantastic development.

By Anonymous

Wasn’t this a land site tip for rubbish and what about the gas it’s still producing

By Anonymous

this would be a great site for as previous comments have said a leisure facility or somthink on the lines of the Eden project with hotels for visitors from outside the northwest region and a great place for children and adults to learn and spend quilaty time in a great location .
not sure were the funding would come from with a project like this

By Darren Mcvey

The dual carriageway plans are quite advanced and will destroy 80 mature trees at Otterspool park and will likely put off commuters from attempting to get to St Michaels Train station and will make the festival Gardens park a noisy, polluted space and quite dangerous for children who will have to brave the 40 mile an hour traffic flows, as it will form a corridor for traffic in and out of the city. Taken together this plan is another example of the council ignoring the very serious problems of air pollution

By Neil

@Anonymous Hence the remediation work.

By Anonymous

The naivety of some comments on this beggars belief. Not so long ago that our Council had to be reined in from took of changing Jericho Drive into a dual carriageway. The city’s record on public transport is lamentable.

By John Smith