Date set for Everton stadium inquiry

The public inquiry into Everton FC and Tesco's proposed stadium and retail development in Kirkby will begin in mid-November.

The £400m project was called in by Communities Secretary Hazel Blears two weeks ago and was not initially expected to appear in court this year.

Cllr Ron Round, leader of Knowsley council, said: "The council has formally accepted the date and we're pleased the inquiry will be heard so swiftly. The people of Kirkby deserve a final decision on the regeneration of their town, and holding the inquiry before the end of the year will bring clarity on the future of this development."

The joint venture partners propose a 55,000-seat stadium to replace the current Goodison Park home and 500,000 sq ft of retail, along with hotels and leisure.

The public inquiry is expected to be completed before Christmas with a decision in mid-2009.

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