Everton unlocks stunning designs of futuristic venue


Everton FC update Dec 2019 Image: Everton FC

Everton recently unlocked the stunning final designs of its 53,000-seater futuristic new venue at Bramley-Moore Dock – within Peel L&P’s Liverpool Waters site in England. The design has been unveiled ahead of the submission of a planning application to Liverpool City Council. The venue price tag will be £500m.

The arena’s multi-story car park has been moved from its previous waterfront location. The car park will now stand within the stadium thus creating one standalone structure.

The other changes to be initiated are environmental measures such as wind baffles, and astonishing amount of public spaces which can be utilized on both match days and non-match days. The stadium has been designed to provide some protection from the gusts that often whip in off the River Mersey.

The English professional football club based in Liverpool has revealed that the stadium plans would have a “transformational” impact on North Liverpool and will give a £1bn (€1.17bn/$1.3bn) boost to the city region’s economy, generating up to 15,000 jobs and wooing 1.4m visitors to the city every year.

The stadium application has been submitted to the Liverpool City Council. A separate outline planning application for a community-led project at Goodison Park – Everton’s current home – will follow suit. The council will determine the intention for both applications at the same time.

Liverpool City Council will now review and process the application. Everton informed that the whole process will take time due to the scale of the submission. The council will then start its formal consultation period.

The Goodison Park legacy project aims to overhaul the facility to pave way for community assets such as affordable housing, a multi-purpose health center, community-led retail and leisure spaces and a youth enterprise zone.

Following two stages of a formal public consultation, Everton received more than 63,000 responses from fans and stakeholders. The second stage evoked more than 43,000 responses. Ninety-six per cent of respondents wanted The People’s Project – the combined stadium and Goodison Park redevelopment plans – to move ahead, with 98 percent giving thumbs-up to the design of the new stadium.

Four distinctive stands will comprise the venue, including a steep, 13,000-seat home stand. Everton has promised that it will place fans “as close to the action as regulations permit” and encapsulate the atmosphere of Goodison Park, while ensuring that there is little impact from noise pollution in the stadium’s vicinity.

The North and South stand lower tiers have been so designed to facilitate fitting in rail seating and, should legislation change, be converted into safe-standing areas.

Everton Chief Executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale said, “This is a huge milestone in the club’s history but also a profound statement of intent for our future. It marks the culmination of many years of work that has combined the passion of our fans with world-class design and a commitment to creating something truly special on Liverpool’s waterfront.”

“The stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock will deliver the best possible match-day experience for our fans, new facilities for cultural events and a building that will be a stunning new addition to Liverpool’s built environment. Our proposals are a commitment to a long and exciting future for the club in North Liverpool, and also for our award-winning charity, Everton in the Community, to continue to make a life-changing difference in Liverpool 4,” the top official further commented.

“From its inception, we’ve always believed that this project can be a game-changer for North Liverpool. The vast amount of feedback and overwhelming support we received through our consultation has shown that the people of Liverpool understand that The People’s Project isn’t just about a new football ground – it’s about regeneration, jobs and social value,” Denise observed.

“If we are granted planning approval, this will be a world-class football stadium in a world-class location and a catalyst for Liverpool City Region’s ongoing growth and success,” he affirmed.

Bramley-Moore Dock is located within Liverpool’s World Heritage Site and Everton said its status as a conservation area have been “fundamental” to how the stadium has been designed and planned.

To the west of the stadium, a water channel will be maintained to ensure the visual continuity of the dock system, while the site’s Grade II Listed Hydraulic Tower would also be restored to attract more visitors on non-match days. Other features such as capstones, mooring posts and old railway tracks will also be refurbished.

Colin Chong, Everton’s Stadium Development Director, remarked, “This project has been designed from the ground up with the site’s heritage in mind – getting this right has always been our priority. We have invested an enormous amount of resource and effort in creating a design that not only respects and looks at home in a dockland setting but will also restore and preserve the historic features of Bramley-Moore Dock and, importantly, open a currently inaccessible site to the public.”

“We have worked closely with Liverpool City Council and heritage organizations as the plans have evolved and our final proposals include a significant amount of environmental remediation work, along with measures to restore and preserve key aspects of the dock. We are immensely proud to submit our proposals for what I believe are one of the most exciting development projects in world football,” Chong further maintained.

“Now the planning application has been submitted, we will let due process take its course, but we are feeling very confident. It is a full and thorough application. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the fans for their patience. An enormous amount of work has gone into these proposals and we feel we’re in a good position for Liverpool City Council to review our application,” he said.

Chong also gave an insight into the club’s ongoing work to appoint a contractor so that the project could be implemented, “The next steps for the club are to complete the procurement process to appoint a partner to develop the stadium and to prepare a construction contract ready to move straight into once the planning application has been determined. From the point that planning consent is granted, we anticipate a three-years build timescale.”

The Club, being advised by the CBRE UK Planning & Development team, has worked in tandem with the Liverpool Planning Authority and Historic England to give shape to the application and ensure the requisite details are included so that the proposals are appropriately considered.

Iain Jenkinson, National Head of Planning at CBRE, stated, “This is an incredibly detailed planning application which includes more than 50 detailed technical documents covering 30 different areas. These include wind mitigation, ecology and remediation all the way through to how the voices of the community have been heard in support of this project, as well as the economic, social and environmental benefits of the stadium. It’s over to the city council now as the local planning authority.”

“Once the planning application is validated in the New Year, it will be subject to a period of public consultation. We are hopeful that this project goes to the planning committee in the summer of 2020 and in the run-up to that we would hope that all those who have been involved in the consultation to date, and even those who haven’t, make their voices heard,” he further stated.

Echoing his views, stadium architect Dan Meis, Founder of MEIS Architects, explained the evolvement of the design and how the huge public support would play a pivotal role in the process, “We’re very proud of the final design. I think what people are most excited about is that it doesn’t just look like any other stadium that could be anywhere. It looks like it belongs there. One of the strong pieces of feedback we received was the reaction to the west side of the building and what you see from the river. That’s perceived to be a really important view, so it has really changed how we look at that side of the building and therefore where we are locating the parking.”

“We received great feedback on the design itself but that has been the focus on where this design has evolved. This [proposed stadium] is not something that people are ‘middle-of-the-road’ about, they’re passionate about this project and I think that support is going to be very important as the planning application is looked at,” Meis further opined.

The arena will famously feature a stunning brick, steel and glass stadium, which has been drawn from the historic maritime and warehouse buildings located in and around. The stadium structure blends the historic and the modern, with the brick base incorporating a subtle nod to Goodison Park’s famous Archibald Leitch lattice work, while the dynamic roof structure made from steel and glass gives the stadium a modern finish.

Fans have been promised an unforgettable match-day experience in a “world class location”. The club has appointed three-time Champions League winner Carlo Ancellotti as their new Manager.

There are four distinct stands with a 13,000 capacity home end behind one of the goals. It has been designed with atmosphere in mind, with the fans as close to the pitch as regulations allow.

Everton hope that their extensive public consultation should ensure that the plans are passed without any hitch during the first half of 2020.

If that is the scenario, then building work can begin in the summer with a three-year build time, meaning Everton can move to the stadium in time for the start of the 2023-24 seasons.

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