HC Deb 14 November 1988 vol 140 cc506-7W
Mr. Alton

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what consideration he has given to the proposal to designate the Liverpool garden festival site as a royal park; and if he will make a statement about its future.

Mr. Trippier

The royal parks are of special origin and special significance. They were once going back mainly to Tudor times—private lands in the personal possession of the Sovereign. They still belong to the Sovereign although the public now use them freely. My Department's responsibility is restricted to managing the historical royal parks on behalf of the Crown. There is no intention to add to their number.

As far as the future of the festival park is concerned, the Merseyside development corporation has now agreed draft terms with a commercial leisure park operator who intends to take a long lease on the festival park, and operate this throughout the year.

I am very hopeful that this arrangement will secure the future maintenance of this high-quality park for the people of Liverpool without additional public expenditure. The disposal of the park to the commercial leisure park operator has received the support of the Liverpool city council.