Despite stating it was pleased with recent design amendments made to the club’s proposed 52,000-capacity stadium at the grade two-listed Bramley-Moore Dock, the conservation body has asked for the application to be called in by the Secretary of State.
Historic England said: “We consider that the proposal to infill the dock…would result in substantial harm to the significance of the grade two-listed Bramley-Moore Dock and cause harm to the World Heritage Site.
“Due to the impact of the proposals, we regrettably think that this application should be determined by the Secretary of State and will ask for it to be called in for his determination.”
Historic England also said the application should be refused “unless the decision-maker concludes that the public benefits would outweigh the damage to Bramley-Moore dock and the harm to the World Heritage Site”.
Last week Everton FC provided an update on the project’s progress which included some design tweaks including decreasing the height of the stadium “in line with the council’s Liverpool’s World Heritage site guidance”.
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.
However, despite the tweaks to the design, Historic England has asked Government to call in the plans, potentially causing significant delays to the project.
The club had hoped to start construction in early 2021 subject to planning approval from Liverpool City Council later this year.
In a letter to supporters, Everton’s stadium development director Colin Chong, said the club had worked “extensively and collaboratively” with Historic England for several months and added that the conservation body was “aware of the significant benefits the stadium will bring to both the club and the city region”.
Liverpool City Council said it does not comment on active planning applications.
Laing O’Rourke has been appointed as lead contractor for the project and Pattern is the architect.
Pattern was appointed as technical architect in June following the conclusion of Meis Studio’s contract.
Buro Happold and Planit-IE are the engineering consultant and landscape architect respectively.