In a major update from Everton, the club have said that planning permission could be granted for the new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock before the end of the year, with work beginning as soon as Janury 2021.
The Blues have been carefully going through the feedback from key stakeholders in the project, including fans, Unesco, the local council, and residents, and have made a few cosmetic changes to the outside of the stadium – mostly on the West Stand, which faces the River Mersey.
Despite setbacks with the Covid-19 pandemic, Everton have been able to press ahead with the project and have also named the key members of the team who will deliver the stadium
Colin Chong, Head of Stadium Development, told fans in an email update, “The most visual of the design improvements is around the West Stand (the stand facing the River Mersey).
“As you will see from the images, we have introduced a new river-facing stepped plaza and removed the multi-storey car park, which helps with the symmetry of the stadium and brings back river views for supporters in the West Stand and from the top of the stepped plaza.
“As well as enhancing symmetry and general aesthetics, this new stepped plaza creates a covered fan area which protects supporters and the turnstile and lounge entrances from any inclement weather.
“We have simplified the brick façade and made the tribute to the Archibald Leitch lattice work more obvious on the external brickwork of the stadium.
“We have also covered some of the most exposed areas within the stands to better protect supporters from the elements.
“Over the past few months, Liverpool City Council’s planning department has been consulting on the applications with the Liverpool public, as well as neighbouring authorities, emergency services, heritage and environment organisations and other regional and national stakeholders.
“As part of this process – and to address some of the feedback from consultees – we have been working with the Council and other agencies to amend some elements of the designs that were originally consulted on and submitted as part of our application.
“These updated designs will be formally submitted to the Council in early September and some of the new visuals can be viewed below.
“I am sure you will agree they significantly enhance a stadium concept that was already quite stunning.
“While these updated plans will not require the submission of a full new planning application, they will require a formal public consultation on the revised elements.
“This consultation, led by the Council, is anticipated to last 28 days and will be an opportunity for everyone to comment on these additional features.
“Following this, and due to the size of the application, Liverpool City Council may need to convene a special planning committee meeting towards the end of the year to give their determination to our application. The detail of this determination is likely to dictate whether the application will also need to be reviewed by central Government.
This additional local consultation, together with some aspects of the project relating to third parties having slowed slightly due to the impact of COVID-19, means that – subject to planning approval and finalising our funding packages – it is most likely that work could commence on-site early in 2021.
“As there are currently so many factors over which we do not have direct control, it would be unwise to commit to a specific date when our build will commence – or when we are likely to be playing in the new stadium. However, we have every confidence in our project plan and the team we have assembled to deliver it. And, as I’m sure you know, everyone at the Club is entirely committed to getting us into a new home at Bramley-Moore Dock as soon as we possibly can.”
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