WORK to build a 3G football pitch at a park in Litherland has been ‘temporarily paused’ by the council due to ongoing protests at the site from residents.
Residents parked their cars across the entrance of Orrell Mount last week to deny access to lorries, which had arrived to deliver materials for the project.
The stand-off went on for several days and it led to the council closing the park gates “to ensure the ongoing safety of both demonstrators and our contractors.”
The start of work will now be pushed back, the council says, “to continue open dialogue with local community groups.”
The council wants to build a 3G pitch with changing rooms and floodlights but protesters say the field should stay as it is because it is one of few green spaces left in Litherland.
Sefton Council leader Ian Maher said: “While we have continued to engage with the community around Orrell Mount, recent demonstrations on site have indicated there is still more dialogue to be had.
“Our initial consultations led Sefton to revamp, tweak and add in certain elements to the scheme in order to best benefit surrounding residents and address concerns raised, which is why we were confident that a schedule of works could begin in earnest.
“It was never our intention to close the park off while these works took place and this drastic decision was only taken at the eleventh hour in order to keep both the public and contractors safe after it became clear demonstrations could lead to a health and safety issue.
“After a significant amount of discussion between cabinet, ward members and officers, we have unanimously agreed to temporarily halt all works and reopen the park as a sign of good faith, while we seek to continue further constructive dialogue and consultation with residents.
“We all want to find a solution which allows this hugely beneficial scheme to become a reality and we will now await the findings of this additional consultation before any further potential progression is made.”
Orrell Mount Playing Fields will now fully reopen, although playground improvement and maintenance works will still be taking place within the grounds.