Whitehall’s decision on whether to call-in proposals for a 53,000-capacity stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock has been delayed.
The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government has informed Everton FC and Liverpool City Council that the process will take longer than initially expected.
The city council granted the club consent for the £500m project last month but work cannot start on site until housing secretary Robert Jenrick signs off the plans.
According to planning legislation, the Government has 21 days to rule on whether to call in a project following approval by a local authority. In the case of Everton’s stadium proposals, this three-week period has now elapsed.
So the MHCLG has issued an Article 31 directive, which affords the department more time to consider an application.
The decision to extend the period of consideration “in no way indicates what the eventual decision on call-in will be”, the department said in a statement.
Conservation body Historic England objected to the scheme, claiming it would cause “substantial harm” to the site, which is located within Liverpool’s Unesco World Heritage site.
A spokesperson for Liverpool City Council said: “Liverpool City Council has been informed by MHCLG that the Secretary of State has requested more time to consider the resolution to approve Everton Football Club’s planning application to build a new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock.
“This instruction has been accepted in accordance with national planning law.”
Everton FC has been contacted for comment.