Everton to launch public consultation for new stadium



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Everton to launch public consultation Image: Everton FC

Liverpool-based Everton FC announce that it will launch a public consultation into plans to relocate to Bramley Moore dock, with the club unlikely to borrow money from the city council for the proposed £500-million stadium, which would delay its planning application by a year.

“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 will take a major step forward with the launch of a widescale public consultation into the proposals,” the club stated in a press release posted on its official website.

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 next year, the press release stated.

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, it added.

After it is launched on November 15, the public consultation will last three weeks and 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 recently 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,” he added.

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 November 15. 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 next summer, at which point the club will present the proposed design of the stadium and further details on its Goodison Park legacy plans, according to the press release.

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,” Chong said.

The club intends to submit a detailed planning application for the stadium in the second half of 2019 and, at the same time, an outline planning application for the redevelopment of Goodison Park, the release stated.

Despite securing a 200-year lease on the dock site in November last year, Everton have yet to reveal any stadium designs or confirm how the construction – which is expected to have a capacity of 50,000 to 55,000 – will be paid for, according to a report by The Guardian.

Liverpool’s council announced the creation of a special purpose vehicle in March 2017 that would secure a loan of around £280m for Everton’s plans and generate millions each year for the local authority in interest and security fees. However, the club – now majority owned by the billionaire Farhad Moshiri – are likely to raise the capital through private financial institutions, The Gurardian reported.

While the delayed planning application will almost certainly affect Everton’s aim to start the 2022-23 season at Bramley Moore – 2023-24 is more realistic – the club believe the wait necessary to improve the prospects of success, it added.

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