In an update to supporters, Everton stadium development director Colin Chong said he is “confident” that the club’s plans for a 53,000-capacity stadium on Liverpool’s waterfront will be approved, paving the way for a start on site in the first half of 2021.
Plans for the £500m stadium, which would sit on the listed Bramley-Moore Dock within Peel L&P’s Liverpool Waters, are due to be determined in the “first couple of months” of 2021, Chong said.
“Achieving a positive planning determination is the next key milestone in this project and unlocks the next phase of work streams we need to complete,” he added.
These work streams include the process of land acquisition, securing access to funding, and formalising the relationship with preferred contractor Laing O’Rourke, according to Chong.
In September, Everton lodged updated proposals for the stadium amid concerns from conservation bodies about the impact the development would have on the dock, which is within Liverpool’s Unesco World Heritage site.
Historic England has called for the plans to be refused by the council due to the “substantial harm” it believes would be caused to the conservation area by infilling the listed dock.
Under the tweaked plans, the height of the stadium was decreased and the multistorey car park attached to the West Stand was scrapped in favour of a surface level car park at West Quay.
In its place, a stepped plaza facing the River Mersey has been added to the West Stand, creating an area of public realm.
Chong added: “2021 will be a period of transition as the world recovers from the impacts of a global pandemic and while there is no need to adjust our overall project timeline, not everything is directly under our control.
“We remain on track with our own internal plans…and we are confident that 2021 will give us the license to move forward by getting the necessary approvals to deliver a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Everton Football Club and the city region.”