Thanks to the Southport Visiter for the use of its article by Julia Nason published today on the closure of the Sandplant, including comment from Tony Baker. Visiter copy follows:
"THE sand plant on Marine Drive looks set to be taken over by the Marshside Nature Reserve when it shuts its doors.
The William Rainford (Holdings) Ltd extraction plant is due to close for Ã¢ÂÂcommercial reasonsÃ¢Â? as soon as it completes its orders for Pilkington Glass.
Legal requirements mean the site will then be demolished and returned to its original state.
It is hoped the land, which is dedicated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), will then be turned over to the neighbouring RSPB nature reserve.
Cambridge ward councillor Sue McGuire said: Ã¢ÂÂThis is awful news for the people who will lose their jobs, especially coming just before Christmas.
Ã¢ÂÂBut the closure will be a relief to people living nearby who have complained about the lorries.
Ã¢ÂÂNow that Rainfords have decided to call it a day, we must look to the future.
Ã¢ÂÂI would like to see the council work closely with the RSPB to improve the facilities for birdwatchers and nature lovers, including a decent car park. This is an opportunity to develop tourism for Southport and create a visitor centre at the site.
Ã¢ÂÂThis is one of the most important and protected sites of its kind in Europe, covered by numerous environmental controls and attracts people from far and wide.Ã¢Â?
Sefton Council has already approached the RSPB regarding it taking over the site and it is hoped talks between the two parties will commence shortly.
Bosses at RSPB want to incorporate the land within the nature reserve to establish a visitor centre and additional parking facilities to cope with the influx of visitors.
RSPB Ribble site manager Tony Baker said: Ã¢ÂÂWe will certainly be talking to the council about the possibility.
Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs a bit early to say yet but it is something we would be interested in.
Ã¢ÂÂBoth the numbers of birds and people visiting the reserve are increasing so would be nice to use the site for visitors. It is something we would like to explore with the council.Ã¢Â?
A spokesman for Sefton Council confirmed it was a strong possibility but stated it was Ã¢ÂÂearly daysÃ¢Â? yet.
William Rainford (Holdings) Ltd refused to comment."
When the council comes to make its decision on what to do, it'll be looking at all sorts of evidence for what people want - maybe even this blog, so if you want a nice bush and pool filled migrant hotspot where the Sandplant used to be, LET ME KNOW ON THE COMMENTS LINK BELOW.
If we don't say anything now, it'll be no good complaining when Mount Baker is gone, and the Forest of Bale is a distant memory.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies....