One of Liverpool's biggest and most important development projects is moving forward - with new drone images showing the progress made.
A huge programme of work is taking place at the Festival Gardens site next to Otterspool Promenade in south Liverpool, which will become one of the city's most important housing projects over the coming years.
Prior to any housing being created, there is the small matter of carrying out one of the UK's biggest remediation schemes in the huge development zone, which lies directly next to the current public gardens.
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City Council contractors, Vinci Construction UK Ltd are now around halfway through their work to remediate more than 380,000 cubic metres of waste material (weighing 800,000 tonnes), 95% of which will be recycled.
These new aerial shots show the scale of the work taking place and the the 28-acre development zone, which lies directly next to the public gardens.
Much of the land was used as a landfill tip from the 1950s to the 1980s, before later being redeveloped as part of the Garden Festival site, which was opened for a special international festival in 1984.
And a separate area was a waste dump for Merseyside Docks and Harbour.
It is that landfill history which means that so much remediation work is now needed - with a huge operation underway to sift out plastics, paper, wood and other materials - the vast majority of which will be recycled, with most of it re-used as part of the project.
We were invited to visit the site this week to provide a sense of the scale of that work and the decades of waste being remediated.
Amongst the huge piles of rubbish were a newspaper from 1976 and a Ship's docket from 1963.
The city council actually bought the site for £6m in 2015 and it is hoped that around 1500 new homes will eventually be built on the site.
Following remediation there is a further £8.5m programme of ground infrastructure works to lay drainage, utilities, a road network and a ground gas management system.
The project is being jointly funded by Liverpool City Council, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Homes England.
Liverpool City Council is working in partnership with IMGF Developments Ltd to enter into legal agreements for disposal in the future. This will allow for the release of the land in phases for delivery of housing-led development.
It is anticipated IMGF Developments Ltd will submit a residential planning application for 1,500 eco-homes by summer 2022. It is expected that, pending planning permissions, construction of the first homes will begin in late 2023, with the development being phased over the following eight years.
There is understandably a great deal of interest in what happens at Festival Gardens - especially from the many people who live nearby the huge development site.
One such resident is Green Councillor Anna Key, who represents the St Michaels ward where she lives.
She said: "I live very close to the development and know from talking to neighbours and from the public meetings we have helped to organise just how much the whole of Festival Gardens means to the community.
"That’s why we have been pushing the council and developers to come up with the best solutions that protect the environment and minimise damage to nature.
"There is still some way to go before the local community will be able to judge how far the council and developers have lived up to their promises. That includes making the southern grasslands more accessible and nature-friendly.
"Then there is a huge question over what type of housing and community facilities will be built on the cleared site. They have to be of the highest environmental standards and properly supported by better public transport options.2
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