LIVERPOOL'S children's hospital will move to Widnes if it is not allowed to rebuild on parkland in the city, it has emerged.
Alder Hey wants to build on Springfield Park next to its site in West Derby. But they have had to consider moving out of the city because of opposition from residents and a reluctance at the council to allow development of parkland.
Now the hospital has identified alternative land in Halton, the playing fields off the A557 Widnes Eastern Bypass.
A spokesman for Alder Hey said: "The strongest option is to rebuild on the current site and Springfield Park, replacing the work like-for-like once the new hospital is built.
"Our second option is a site in Halton, which although very attractive, means we would have to leave Liverpool.
"We know that some people are concerned about us building on the park. However, we are also aware that many people do not want us to leave the current site.
"We are working with the council and others to try to address the issues raised about building on the park."
A Labour-led petition has been launched to keep the hospital in Liverpool and has been signed by nine MPs from across Merseyside.
Wavertree MP and health minister Jane Kennedy said: "I had concerns when I first heard the plan to build on Springfield Park, so residents' anxiety is understandable. But Alder Hey has assured me that replacement parkland of a much higher quality will be provided with the new hospital.
"The council must stop mouthing its support and throw its weight behind this plan for a world-class children's hospital."