Everton Football Club’s plans to regenerate North Liverpool by building a new stadium next to the River Mersey and leaving a legacy at Goodison Park has taken a major step forward with the launch of a widescale public consultation into the proposals.
The consultation, which will be held in November under ‘The People’s Project’ campaign name, marks the start of a formal process which will lead to the submission of planning applications for both sites in the second half of 2019.
A new campaign website contains information on the consultation activities and will be the place for information relating to the construction of a new stadium in an iconic riverfront setting as well as the development of community-led amenities which could include homes, health, business and education facilities at Goodison Park.
The public consultation, which launched on Thursday 15 November and will last three weeks, will ask members of the public for their views on Bramley-Moore Dock as the proposed site for the new stadium. It will also seek views on the Club’s intention to leave a legacy at Goodison Park.
The consultation is an essential part of the planning application process and it follows previous engagement by the Club with its fans, Goodison residents and senior business, cultural and public sector figures in the Liverpool City Region.
Everton Chief Executive Officer Denise Barrett-Baxendale, who was this week in New York City attending meetings with stadium architect Dan Meis, said:
“This consultation marks a very significant moment as we progress with this project. We would like as many people as possible – and not just football fans – to take part and let us know their views.
“Our ambition is not just to create a new home for a very proud and historic football club but also a new landmark stadium, in an iconic setting, which will deliver huge regeneration benefits for the whole of the Liverpool City Region.
“We have deep roots in Liverpool 4 and are committed to building on the extensive investment we have already made in the area. We are preparing plans to redevelop the existing stadium site to create facilities which will benefit the whole community, creating jobs and improving lives.
“Everton is committed to delivering an authentic football stadium which responds to Liverpool’s World Heritage Site designation. The plans we are developing will respect the historic features of the site and complement its surroundings.
“The rich history and connections between the old docker community and the city’s football family are inseparable. A move to the city’s North Docks will be very poignant for many of our supporters who will have had family members work there and will give them a chance to enjoy a part of cultural Liverpool that has not been open to the city for decades.”
The public consultation will see an exhibition about the proposals visit a range of locations in the Liverpool City Region, including Liverpool ONE, retail parks in Speke and Edge Lane as well as Birkenhead and New Brighton in Wirral. There will also be a fixed exhibition at The Blue Base on Salop Street near Goodison Park for residents living in Liverpool 4.
People will be able to complete a short survey at the exhibition or log on to the project website to complete an online survey from Thursday 15 November. The results of the survey will be used as part of the Club’s planning applications, which are expected to be submitted in the second half of 2019.
A second public consultation will be held in the summer of 2019, at which point the Club will present the proposed design of the stadium and further details on its Goodison Park legacy plans.
Stadium Development Director Colin Chong said:
“Our proposals are about to enter a new and very important stage as we begin this formal public consultation period. We and our advisers are stepping up our dialogue with a range of stakeholders as we progress our designs.
“We know everyone is very keen to see images of what the stadium might look like and we look forward to sharing them next year. We will abide by a careful and considered process that respects all stakeholders’ interests. This is a multi-faceted project and it is important that we do everything required to ensure our planning application, when it’s made, stands the best chance of success.
“The Club has already carried out a huge amount of work to get us to our current position, making sure any scheme we develop is right for the Club, the fans and for the city region as a whole. This is a long and methodical process and the public consultation forms an important part of this.”
The Club intends to submit a detailed planning application for the stadium in 2019 and, at the same time, an outline planning application for the redevelopment of Goodison Park.
Iain Jenkinson, Senior Director of international property advisory firm CBRE, said:
“What is so significant about Everton’s plans is the transformational impact they will have on the regeneration and renaissance of North Liverpool, enhancing the social and cultural heritage that the Bramley-Moore Dock represents.
“The new stadium development would have a huge positive impact on the city’s North Docks and areas including the Ten Streets. The People’s Project will deliver employment, training and cultural opportunities for families living in some of Liverpool’s and the UK’s most deprived wards.
“Our research shows that the two developments together – at Bramley-Moore Dock and Goodison – will deliver once-in-a-generation benefits to the whole of the Liverpool City region, a £1bn boost to the economy and the creation of some 15,000 new jobs.”