Planning officers recommend approval for Everton’s new £500m stadium
Planners at Liverpool City Council have recommended approval for Everton FC’s proposed £500m stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.
The scheme is scheduled for consideration by the council’s planning committee at a special meeting next Tuesday (February 23) when councillors will decide whether to follow the officers’ advice, or reject it.
Even if councillors approve the club’s ambitious plans for the 52,888-capacity ground – and the legacy proposals for the club’s current Goodison Park stadium – the proposals will automatically be referred to the Secretary of State by the council as standard practice, due to the sheer size of the scheme which could be the largest development on site in the country if and when work starts.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will have 21 days to review the application.
If it is approved work could start this spring/summer meaning, with a 150-week build programme, the club could be playing in a new stadium by the 2024/25 season.
If, on the other hand, it is called in by the Government, the club said it has contingency plans for different timelines involved.
However, if it is approved, Everton will then start work on delivering a construction programme, and financing the scheme, which it said will be entirely privately funded.
A spokesperson said: “We’re in a good place from a funding perspective. We are where we want to be. It will be privately funded through a funding partner.”
The club estimates a new ground could generate up to £1.3bn-worth of benefits for the local economy.
Council planning officers have examined the club’s proposals and their 200-page report to councillors acknowledges the scheme is a “significant event in the history of the city” and “is a major decision for the local planning authority.”
Their report also recognises Everton’s proposals “have broad popular support overall” and the stadium plans would open up access to the city’s waterfront World Heritage Site which is not currently available to the public, “creating a modern attraction that would enhance the area and draw more visitors to the city”.
It also says the “substantial public benefits far outweigh any heritage harm”.
The council revealed that it has received more than 2,000 comments in support of the club’s proposals – and only three objections.
The report shows that the club looked at 52 sites across the city. It states that the Liverpool City Council QC agrees with the club that Bramley-Moore Dock is the only site suitable.
If the planning application is granted, the officers’ report shows that the club would be able to host four major non-football events – concerts or other sporting events – at the new stadium, as well as the usual conferences, exhibitions, banqueting, weddings and tours throughout the year.
It also reveals that the scheme’s design is praised, especially how it sits alongside other heritage assets in the North Docks area.
Also, the inclusivity of the stadium design is praised by the Everton Disabled Supporters’ Association and the Corporate Access Forum.
For more information visit The People’s Project website – A blueprint for a better North Liverpool (peoples-project.co.uk)