In recent weeks Everton has submitted amended plans for its £500m stadium at Bramley Moore Dock in Liverpool and they are now asking for your views. Tony McDonough reports
A new public consultation on Everton FC’s proposed £500m stadium in Liverpool Waters is now under way after the club amended the design of the arena.
Previous consultations into the project have seen the public and local businesses give an overwhelming thumbs-up to the stadium, which would be built in Bramley Moore Dock in the city’s northern docklands.
People will have from Thursday, September 24, until 11.59pm on Thursday, October 22, to comment on the design changes submitted by the club and share their views with Liverpool City Council’s planning department.
Changes to the design of the stadium came after feedback from statutory consultees to the original planning application submitted in December 2019. These consultees included heritage groups and, despite the proposed changes, those groups, including Historic England and the Victorian Society, have made clear they are still unhappy with the scheme.
In particular, they object to the infilling of the Grade II-listed Bramley Moore Dock which was still a working dock as recently as 2019. Historic England is asking the Secretary of State to ‘call in’ the project and is recommending it be rejected in its current form.
Its strong objection has provoked anger among many people in the city who believe it puts the scheme, which it is estimated could offer the city £1bn in regeneration benefits, could be at risk if the current timetable is derailed. One business leader branded the organisation “Hysteric England”.
Changes to the stadium design include:
- Introduction of a stepped plaza allowing for the return of symmetry to the overall building whilst also offering a new covered area for stadium entry and enhanced river views to and from the West Stand.
- The West Stand stepped plaza forming a key part of the sites public realm which can be used on non-matchdays.
- Removal of the multi-storey car park leading to increased parking in the decluttered West Quay for disabled supporters.
- Solar panels relocated from the West Quay to the south of the stadium roof.
- Simplification of the brick façade making the tribute to the Archibald Leitch lattice work that is so synonymous with Goodison Park more obvious
- Reduction of the overall height of the stadium in line with Liverpool City Council’s World Heritage Site Supplementary Planning Document.
The consultation is part of the formal planning process that needs to take place before Liverpool City Council makes its decision on the planning application for a new waterfront stadium that forms part of the city’s newly launched North Shore vision.
It is anticipated that Liverpool City Council may need to convene a special planning committee meeting towards the end of the year to make its determination.
Documents submitted by the club to the council show a further increase in the public benefits delivered by a proposed new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock as well as a community-led legacy development at Goodison Park.
Everton, working alongside CBRE and Simetrica estimate The People’s Project could deliver at least a £1.3billion boost to the economy, create more than the initially estimated 15,000 jobs and still attract 1.4m visitors the city.
Estimates show a ripple effect that will be felt across the city’s region’s economy with local families who have members of their households working on the development benefitting from £32m of income, the c could see an annual return of £2.1m in Council Tax while Business Rates income could yield a further £1.7m per year.
Bramley-Moore Dock’s location within Liverpool’s UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Stanley Dock Conservation Area has been fundamental to how the project has been designed and planned. Everton says the stadium has been designed to respect and preserve the heritage of the area, while bringing a long-standing semi-derelict dockland site back into productive use. The club is committed to:
- Maintain a water channel to the west of the stadium to ensure the visual continuity of the dock system – a key feature of the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site.
- Preserve and restore the Grade II listed Hydraulic Tower to create a unique visitor attraction.
- Retain and restore a range of the site’s historic features including capstans, mooring posts and tram lines.
- Preserve the dock walls under the stadium to ensure the site could be reverse engineered back into a dock if the club were to ever move stadium in the distant future.
Colin Chong, stadium development director, said: “The people of this city and region have helped shape our plans throughout this project and the submission of our design enhancements is further evidence we have listened to all the stakeholders who make up our diverse city region.
“As we enter the conclusion of the planning phase of the project, Our submission is the culmination of a significant amount of work and extreme care that ensures our stadium proposals not only enhance Bramley-Moore Dock but also the surrounding area.
“This is a once in a generation opportunity to make a difference to the future of our city. I would ask everyone, even if you are not a football fan, to consider this final planning application and submit your comments to the Council at this vitally important moment.”
How to submit your comments:
People can view the full submission and amendments by clicking here.
Comments on the application need to be made in writing by 11.59pm on Thursday, October 22, 2020 quoting the application reference number 20F/0001. Comments should be e-mailed to the dedicated council application e mail address email@example.com
Comments can also be sent by post to The Planning Department, Liverpool City Council, 4th Floor, Cunard Building, Water Street, Liverpool, L3 1AH, quoting the application reference number 20F/0001.