Liverpool wins New Anfield replay as costs soar

Liverpool FC has been granted planning permission for its long-awaited New Anfield stadium on Stanley Park.

The approval is the second for a new stadium, following a consent in 2004 for the original design by Atherden Fuller Leng Architects.

The revised application for a Ryder HKS-designed stadium was submitted in July 2007, following the club's takeover by American owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks.

The new design allows for further seating expansion in the future from 60,000 to 76,000 seats. The cost of building the new stadium has reportedly risen to £400m and could require £20m a year in interest payments to service the debt needed to finance the project.

Building work could start on site in spring 2008, the club said, with the stadium opening for the 2011-12 season.

The club must now wait to see if Hazel Blears, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, calls in the decision for a public inquiry.

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