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EVERTON chairman Bill Kenwright hailed the “very important step” of securing planning permission on their new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.
Liverpool City Council’s planning committee today unanimously voted to approve proposals for the 52,888-capacity ground by the River Mersey.
Due to the scale of the development, the detailed application now passes to the office of the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick for consideration.
However, if there are no objections, the club would look to start work this spring or early summer with a view to moving in ahead of the 2024-5 season.
“Whilst today is just one more step in our long journey, it is a very important one,” said Kenwright. “It’s been a good week for Everton and Evertonians.”
There is a 150-week build plan in place for the stadium, which is expected to cost upwards of £500 million, with funding coming from private loans, majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri, last year’s training-ground naming deal with USM and a small amount from grants.
After a number of false starts over several years, Everton considered 52 locations to move from Goodison Park but Bramley-Moore Dock was deemed the only viable option.
The project has gained widespread public support but objections were raised by heritage body Icomos, acting on behalf of Unesco, as well as the Victorian Society and Historic England, with the latter having had input on the design.
But the council’s report concluded that the plans, which integrate a number of historic features, could actually deliver “heritage benefits” as well as harm by “enhancing degraded on-site heritage assets, improving access to the World Heritage Site and unlocking access to the history.”
Everton believe the new stadium can play a key role in Liverpool’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, with the stadium and a multipurpose redevelopment of Goodison Park generating a £1.3 billion boost to the local economy.
The club also received planning permission for their community-led legacy project at Goodison Park, which includes housing, a health centre, green spaces, retail and business facilities.
That too must go to the Secretary of State but, if there are no objections, Everton will have to begin work within three years of the club moving off the site which has been their home since 1892.
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