Everton’s £500m stadium clears final planning hurdle
Construction of the 53,000-capacity stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock can begin after confirmation from communities minister Robert Jenrick that the plans will not be called-in, providing a timely fillip for the city after a difficult week.
Final sign off for Everton FC’s People’s Project comes after the Government asked for more time to consider the application earlier this month, following Liverpool City Council’s decision to unanimously approve the project in February.
Lead contractor Laing O’Rourke is now primed to started construction of the stadium, which is expected to complete in time for the 2023/24 season.
News of the approval comes at an opportune moment for the city, which has endured a challenging week in the wake of a report into the city council that unearthed numerous failings of governance.
Everton estimates that the stadium could deliver at least a £1.3bn boost to the city’s economy, create more than 15,000 jobs and attract 1.4m visitors to Liverpool.
However, the approval of Everton’s plans is a blow for heritage protection charity Historic England, which had called for the scheme to be refused due to the “substantial harm” it could cause the waterfront conservation area by infilling the listed dock.
The development forms part of the £5bn Liverpool Waters regeneration project being led by developer Peel L&P.
Darran Lawless, outgoing director of development at Liverpool Waters, said: “This is a unique opportunity for Liverpool and in particular the northern parts of this great city that are in need of continuing regeneration.
“The plans outlined go hand in hand with our own efforts to make the entirety of Liverpool’s waterfront a place for thriving businesses and diverse communities alike by creating thousands of new jobs, new homes and a destination for world-class leisure and tourism.”
Pattern Design is the sole architect for the project going forward after Meis Architects, which drew up concept designs, was dropped from the project team last summer.
Planit-IE is the landscape architect for the project and CBRE is the planning consultant.