MIPIM | Everton stadium dock move ‘happening and real’, says mayor

Neil Tague in Cannes

Plans for a stadium for Everton FC at Liverpool Waters are far from “imaginary” and a deal is close to being agreed, according to Peel director Lindsey Ashworth and mayor Joe Anderson.

Both men have spoken out strongly to allay scepticism that the stadium move will happen. Everton has had on-off stadium relocation plans for decades without leaving Goodison Park.

Ashworth said: “We are optimistic about reaching heads of terms for the stadium at Bramley Moore Dock. I can’t say how excited we are at the prospect of having this as part of the Liverpool Waters mix.”

Anderson, in colourful mood writing on Twitter this week, responded angrily to one critic, who called the stadium “imaginary”. Anderson said: “Imaginary stadium my arse what happens is beyond your imagination, but it’s happening and real, get used to it.”

Everton FC said it has formed a partnership steering group to look at plans for relocation to the North Liverpool docks, and is holding a number of meetings with fans.

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Exciting tones2017 for the Liverpool City Region

By Kevin

Spectacular Waterfront! From Everton stadium looking out to Liverpool Bay, to see the Echo Arena… 2 miles!… With the Pier Head and the Albert Dock in the middle!

By Liverpool Coast

Stupid place to put a stadium.

By prudence

You don’t get any more Liverpool than the Waterfront, this is going to be outstanding! The whole length of the Waterfront is going to be world class soon.

By John.

This is a stupid idea. The docks are a World Heritage Site. Football has no history there. It will be difficult to build on the site with possible lengthy delays via appeals. The site is only accessed via one side as water is all around. In panic situations there could be big problems there. I cannot think of a more unsuitable site for a stadium.

Everton’s training ground, Finch Farm is ideal. The site has two rail lines and a motorway around it. An airport is nearby. Big trunck roads are near which will access the city and existing Runcorn bridge and the new Mersey Gateways bridge. It is a brilliant site for transport access from all over Merseyside and beyond. A large station right at the stadium. Ideal.

I hope the new metro-mayor of the Liverpool City Region scuppers this madness.

By John Burns

Ha ha top rant there, as Joe said “It’s happening and it’s real”. By the way, it won’t be accessible in one direction because both Bramley Moore and Nelson Docks are getting filled in….enjoy. :>)

By John.

This is a good bit outside the World Heritage site, and only the dock walls are protected. Bramley Moor Dock is the perfect site! It will book-end the central Waterfront, it’s close to the new Merseyrail station to be built at Stanley Dock, and will be accessible from all parts of the Liverpool City Region and beyond by sustainable transport modes. Very unlikely to be contested, no towers!

By Liverpool-Manc

@ Liverpool-Manc
Bramley Moore Dock is IN the World Heritage Site buffer zone. The docks are unique and can a mini-Amsterdam. It could accommodate a new Philharmonic Hall, as the existing hall cannot cope. A stadium should be where they are not a nuisance with top class transport links. Hey presto! Liverpool has a metro called Merseyrail. Not to use Merseyrail for a new stadium is clear madness. Finch Farm ticks all the boxes. Building a stadium on the docks, the city is shooting itself in the foot.

“My arse… is beyond your imagination, but it’s happening and real, get used to it”
– Joe Anderson Mayor of Liverpool on Twitter; Trump style.

Charming. This man may ruin the city by curtailing its advancement. He is in charge of Liverpool city and Finch Farm falls outside his remit. It falls inside the remit of the new to be appointed metro mayor. I hope he sees sense.

By John Burns

@Liverpool-Manc
NO Merseyrail station is to be built at Stanley Dock. There are NO plans to build one.

By John Burns

I think in the interests of accurate reporting, perhaps PNW should reproduce the full quote from the tweet in question.

By Mike

UNESCO, English Heritage and many other organisations will oppose this stadium plan. If many think that Everton FC will be running out to play on a new stadium in the docks in three years time, think hard. Many inquiries will come about. If I owned Everton FC I would not touch such a sensitive site with a barge pole, as there will be costly delays, even if it does come about. Look at the uproar over the planned stadium at Kirkby, and Knowsley Council were right behind Everton FC. They lost and the project was scuppered.

It is best to take the line of least resistance and build next to their training ground, which is greenfield, creating one big complex, which has all the transport access a stadium could ever want. That transport access guarantees high attendances.

If it is easy to get to and the facilities are top quality inside the stadium, they will turn up. Look at Arsenal surrounded by 27 rapid-transit platforms, who have had full attendances for all games in over ten years.

By John Burns

The new Merseyrail station WILL be very close by. Yes, the exact location is not yet decided but will be close to Stanley Dock and Bramley Moore Dock. Of course it’s in the buffer zone of the WHS. But so is most of the city stretching from Parliament Street and half way to Bootle. There are many different types of buildings getting​ built in the buffer zone all the time, let alone within the WHS itself.
I really don’t think this stadium is much of an issue for UNESCO. Peel’s towers are contencious but not a relatively low rise stadium, right next door to the site where a power station stood for about 50 years and outside the WHS boundary.

By Alfie

@Alfie
There is NO new Merseyrail station planned at all. Show me the planning application number. Someone might have said that is good place for a station, that is about it. Tell us “exactly” where this `alleged` station is to go. The stadium is accessed from only one side. A nightmare when they all leave at once. The emergency services will be hampered if there is an emergency when they are all leaving. In panic situations the crowd will be hemmed in. Trampling of people will occur.

A stadium is totally out of historic context to the docks. Much of the new world’s population left via these docks, which the United Nations recognise as of `world` importance. The biggest migration in world history and we were a part of it and the infrastructure is still there. This means the city is custodian of history applicable to the rest of the world. Building a large concrete an steel lump used about 25 days of the year on historic waters is putting two fingers up to the rest of the world.

UNESCO, English Heritage and every other interested organisation will protest with lengthy inquiries. It is not as if there is no other suitable sites for stadium, Next to the club’s training ground is one – and the best. A superb site.

The site is right inside the World Heritage Site Buffer Zone, where constructions have to semi-conform to the heritage of the World Heritage Site. A stadium doesn’t not conform. Every conductor of the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra has spoken out about building a new Philharmonic Hall on the docks. The existing hall is too small and heavily used. This sort of culture the city should be encouraging and expanding, not occasionally used soul destroying beer and burger stadia.

The inarticulate mayor has no idea of what makes a large city tick. None. One third of Liverpool’s metro was dropped 40 years ago. Men were ordered of site. We are still waiting for it to be finished with trackbeds and tunnels awaiting. Not once has the mayor been to Whitehall thumping on desks to get them to finish what was promised 40 years ago. Not asking for anything extra, just what was planned and we were supposed to get. He has no idea.

Football fanatics (the mayor is an Evertonian) must not be allowed to ruin the city. A soulless stadium can go anywhere in the Liverpool City Region. The new metro-mayor must put an end to this nonsense immediately and tell Everton to get to a suitable site.

By John Burns

@Alfie
A train station at Stanley Dock? Look again. A train station would need to be 4 platforms in any hope to make any impact in shifting 60,000 football fans. From Sandhills station to Leeds St the whole line is on a viaduct. The cost of building such an elevated station, its approached and the signalling, would be astronomical.

It is really the wrong place to build a stadium as little is going for it. It is best they find a more suitable site.

By John Burns

John, you need to come to terms with the reality of the situation. You may not like it. You may think it’s an appalling decision. But it is going to happen. Repeatedly pushing Finch Farm as you do is a waste of your time and energy. No one of influence is listening. And even if they did, they likely, don’t agree. You’re in danger of becoming trapped in an echo chamber of one.

By Deebee

How could anyone suggest new rail and stadium is a negative?

By Jk

@Deebee
I do not like the idea of soul destroying stadium on a World Heritage Site at all, and there are many thousands like me. We do not like it because of the reasons I have clearly outlined on this forum, which you have not read properly.

You need to come to terms with the reality of the situation in that this stadium is NOT a forgone conclusion. It could be a total waste of time for EFC – a dead end. A dead end pushed a mayor who is leading naive EFC by the nose. Pushing Finch Farm is the only common sense option and many are listening. Not everyone is football obsessed to the point of destroying the city’s future.

No one suggested a new rail and stadium is negative. Please re-read. A station that is supposed to serve a 60,000 stadium has to be at LEAST 4 platforms, more like 6, otherwise it is a waste of time. The cost of this station on a viaduct would be astronomical. Would EFC pay most of the station costs? Er, er, er, no.

I fear this nonsense may actually be built – the city does lack vision and has a history of shooting itself in the foot.

By John Burns

The docks are ugly and obsolete and should be filled in so useful modern infrastructure, such as a stadium that will be used by thousands can be constructed in their place.

By Anon

+ Anon
“The docks are ugly and obsolete and should be filled in”
Such a philistine view. Maybe we should build betting shops on them. Here is what American writer Herman Melville says of Liverpool’s docks:

‘For more than six weeks, the ship Highlander lay in Prince’s Dock; and during that time, besides making observations upon things immediately around me, I made sundry excursions to the neighbouring docks, for I never tired of admiring them. Previous to this, having only seen the miserable wooden wharves, and slip-shod, shambling piers of New York, the sight of these mighty docks filled my young mind with wonder and delight…
In Liverpool, I beheld long China walls of masonry; vast piers of stone; and a succession of granite-rimmed docks, completely inclosed, and many of them communicating, which almost recalled to mind the great American chain of lakes: Ontario, Erie, St. Clair, Huron, Michigan, and Superior. The extent and solidity of these structures, seemed equal to what I had read of the old Pyramids of Egypt… For miles you may walk along that river-side, passing dock after dock, like a chain of immense fortresses:—Prince’s, George’s, Salt-House, Clarence, Brunswick, Trafalgar, King’s, Queen’s, and many more.’

By John Burns

Why would you quote someone who died over a 100 years ago, would he still have the same opinion today of the unused docks as he did then I doubt it.

By Flan

Jurgen Klopp described the new stand at Anfield as the 8th wonder of the world. Novelists, like football managers are prone to verbosity, pomposity and exaggeration.

The docks are insignificant structures in the scheme of things that few people care about so they should not be allowed to stymie the development of modern infrastructure that will add real value to Liverpool’s economy by a couple of misty-eyed sentimentalists.

They should be drained, filled with concrete and repurposed as development plots without delay.

By Anon

@Flan
I do not think you have noticed that the docks are very old. One of the reasons why they were given World Heritage status by the UN. Foreigners admire them greatly, as US writer Melville did.

By John Burns

@Anon
This modern infrastructure you refer to, like a soul destroying stadium, can be built in more appropriate locations, of which the City Region has. The UN care about the docks as do thousands of others. Not everyone is blinded by football in Liverpool. Some are not Philistines and care for the city’s unique history, heritage and its future with links to its past.

Deprived of its unique dockland waters Liverpool becomes a Venice without canals, just another city, no longer of special interest to anyone, least of all the tourist. Would we visit a modernised Venice of filled in canals simply to view its modern museum describing how it once was?

By John Burns

John, if you like the docks as they are (which is a dilapidated, needle infested rat-pit), then by all means, object to the proposal – it’s free! I’m sure everyone will be sure to listen to your opinion and will obviously agree that a stadium and rail is the worse option to a under invested, dilapidated, needle infested rat-pit.

By jk

An interesting debate has emerged. I cannot but totally agree with John Burns. The city must come before football. We must value and preserve what we have. We will come to rue such misguided decisions.

By An Evertonian

Not sure where the exact site is – would it actually involve the infilling of a dock? Otherwise, seems like a great location – could be a brilliant centre point for the Ten Streets. Look at what the Echo has done for that side of the waterfront.

By Rooney

Nobody visits an empty, windswept, obsolete dock. They do visit Albert Dock and Pier Head in their droves but only because useful, interesting stuff has been built there.

Cities change and evolve, so filling in and building on top of the docks is just part of a natural process of renewal. The docks are neither historically nor architecturally interesting enough to merit preserving, are of little interest to Joe public so the sooner they are repurposed the better. Football has long since superseded shipping in importance to the city’s identity and is a significant economic generator in its own right. A new stadium on the old docks would maximise spend on hotels and hospitality much more than an out of town site would, this proposal really is a no brainier!

By Anon

@ jk
The world renowned Albert Dock was dilapidated and a `needle infested rat-pit`. But look at it now.

The city of Liverpool inherited a brilliant legacy of redundant intertwining docks and waterways – the largest, finest, enclosed, interconnected, built of granite dock system ever in the world. Many have compared the dock system to the building of the pyramids. The docks and waterspaces are the jewels in Liverpool’s crown – the future of the city, based on its past. The docks and quays are ready to create an Amsterdam, a Hamburg, a Venice of North Western Europe. A legacy every other city in Europe would drool over. This legacy is being squandered for beer, burgers and football.

A wonderful unique Waterscape is slowly becoming an unattractive Landscape. A waterless city like Manchester and Birmingham will emerge.

Obsessions (football) cloud reality

By John Burns

@Rooney
The exact site is Bramley Moore Dock. The dock is not big enough for a modern stadium as there would not be enough room around for safety purposes. The Dock RD wall is protected, so that adds a restriction for movement of people. To put an essential 4 or 6 platform station on the viaduct would cost an arm and a leg. Many believe the next dock Nelson Dock will also be filled. It would be nicer if the stadium was on the land side of the Dock Road with the small businesses in ramshackle sheds moved to a proper new business park.

By John Burns

Albert Dock was an empty, windswept, obsolete dock, they visit it now from far and wide. They will visit Central Docks when they are renovated as well. It does not take too much imagination to see that the city has glaring examples. Do not take my word for it. Go to the Albert Dock look at it, and then look at photos of what it was like before renovation.

Filling in and building on top of the the historic docks is a Philistine act that serves no positive purpose whatsoever. UNESCO awarded World Heritage Status because of the historic nature of the docks, irrespective of your views on history.

“Football has long since superseded shipping in importance to the city’s identity and is a significant economic generator in its own right.” This is complete nonsense indicating a high level of football obsession. The port is `vital` to the City Region economy. It has just been expanded to cater for the largest ships in the world. Without the port there is no city. The two football clubs could fold tomorrow and the impact would be minimal to the economy. The profits are syphoned off to the USA in Liverpool FC’s case.

By John Burns

The city can have both the docks with its heritage and a fantastic football stadium, but that will not work at the same location. They are mutually exclusive. I visit Goodison Park about 20 times a year. I have no problems with Everton moving next to their training ground at Finch Farm, or any other suitable site, as I only watch Everton 20 days a year out of 365. I visit the Albert Dock about 50 to 60 days of the year at least. I visit the restaurants and bars. I love being around the water. It is difficult not to be touched by the history of the place. I have the same feeling when in Amsterdam. If Liverpool Waters was renovated I would visit that as well. The city is gradually moving onto the waterfront and hopefully in the same manner as the Albert Dock. We must take the example set by the Dutch.

In 2007 Liverpool had 40 tower cranes in the city centre, then the Credit Crunch crash came and the all went. There were plans for Liverpool Waters. Once the economy gets on track the docks will be renovated. They are a desirtable site.

By An Evertonian

An English Heritage document on the World Heritage site states re Bramley Moore Dock new buildings must not obscure the view of the iconic six sided Victoria Clock Tower. A stadium clearly will. Very interesting. Now if Everton FC think they are to have an easy ride in filling in any of the World Heritage Docks they have think very hard. There will be very powerful objections from many bodies.

It looks like Liverpool’s mayor, Joe Anderson, is trying to get this off the ground before the new metro-mayor is appointed. The new metro-mayor may just scupper the lot. Finch Farm is just outside the Liverpool city borders, which is outside Anderson’s remit, but inside the new metro-mayors remit.

By John Burns

Liverpool is on the UNESCO danger list of having its World Heritage Status removed. If this occurs the city will be a laughing stock. Here is

Liverpool under scrutiny at UNESCO 40th World Heritage meeting at Istanbul about six months ago.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLZdPVcdI-A&feature=youtu.be

By John Burns

John I’d agree if there was anything worth saving on the Bramely-Moore dock but it’s essentially derelict… The docks further North / heritage sites would serve better for your vision.

By Jk

The status is supposed to be there to protect quality architecture….. not stifle redevelopment. This site is an almost featureless area that should be prime real estate with multiple options. To insist that acres of useful open space should be left barren for ever or only undergo low level development is surely far more detrimental and damaging than a status printed on tourism docs. I believe in protecting quality buildings and features whenever possible, but there is literally nothing left on these sites apart from the wall, and a few small buildings. It would be farcical to allow it to stop the development.

By Flan

I can’t see the Tate building another branch in Liverpool, National Museums Liverpool are already overstretched so just what can be built that bring people flocking from far and wide? No one’s going to come and marvel at a plastic new-build apartment block, even less a crumbly old dock.

Let’s get real, the very best use of the dock is as a development site for a stadium and rail line that will bring many thousands more people into the heart of Liverpool on a regular basis. Fill them in and move on.

By Anon

Imagine going the game by ferry tho

By Rooney

This is very circular. Because the docks are derelict they must be filled in and soul destroying structures built on them destroying the history and heritage, so say the philistine football obsessives. BTW, Bramley Moore is is still an active commercial dock with ships berthing and discharging cargoes. There are transit sheds and aggregates are unloaded onto open quays.

“The status is supposed to be there to protect quality architecture….. not stifle redevelopment.”
This is complete nonsense. The World Heritage award was to preserve the historical heritage of the site. Constructions have to conform to the heritage. That does not mean infilling of docks and stadia built, or cheap and tatty anytown buildings erected as was done on the south end docks.

The football obsessives are resorting to the same continual droning mantra. The stadium should be built at a more appropriate and suitable location – Finch Farm ticks all the boxes.

By John Burns

Liverpool docks were considered so historically important to the industrial revolution and populating the New World, UNESCO awarded World Heritage Status to sections of the interconnected docks and waterways.

UNESCO state:
“Many of the former docks survive to the form of now redundant water bodies. These are an important aspect of the Site’s significance and character and their conservation and use requires consideration within future sustainable regeneration schemes.”

Would We Destroy The Pyramids?

The enclosed interconnected Liverpool docks in magnitude and construction is akin to the pyramids – American writer Herman Melville, amongst others, noted this. This magnificent feat of engineering, built into the river bed, is slowly being destroyed by systematic irresponsible infilling. Most of this in-filling is clearly to create land for private profit.

The United Nations described Liverpool Docks as being of “universal human significance”. Liverpool is custodian of these docks which are of world importance in the history of mankind.

There is a total lack of a firm strategy directing the dock water spaces and river waterfront, is responsible for the disappearance of large swathes of dock water spaces over the past four decades. UNESCO criticised the city for not having a master plan in place for the dock water spaces. The city has been devalued in many ways because of lack of foresight. A strategy protecting the water spaces and outlining the future usages and look and feel of the docks water spaces is urgently needed. Otherwise, it is constant needless iterations of developers proposing dock in-fills to make fast bucks generating land and campaigns to stop it.

By John Burns

You can argue all you want about this, no one cares it is a done deal.

By Flan

Agreed, save for a couple overly sentimental lobbyists totally exaggerating the value and interests in some redundant docks, no one cares. Let’s modernise and secure Liverpool’s future prosperity.

By Anon

@Anon
I suspect this guy could be an astroturfer.
“Let’s modernise and secure Liverpool’s future prosperity.”
By building a large concrete and steel lump that is only used 25 days of the year? As opposed to 365 vibrant waterscape environment? You need reality pills Even the most ignorant would not be swayed by such an argument knowing all the facts.

By John Burns

I have no idea what a “365 vibrant waterscape environment” is. Whatever it might be, it sounds nothing like the obsolete dock that exists today and is unlikely to attract the thousands of people that a new stadium would nor would it attract development finance.

By Anon

@Anon
`I have no idea what a “365 vibrant waterscape environment” is.`

I advise you to visit: Albert Dock in Liverpool, St.Katharine’s Dock in London and Amsterdam just for starters. Then you will have some idea what “365 vibrant waterscape environment” means.

By John Burns

I have to thank John Burns for laying out the big picture which I must admit I never fully understood. Proposing a stadium on the world heritage docks is not really a good idea at all. 

By An Evertonian

A part of the agreement to expand Liverpool FC’s Anfield, the club agreed not to host events that would compete with the Arena or the Exhibition Centre. So no concerts or car shows at Anfield. A new Bramley Moore stadium will be built to the same agreement. So this is a 22 day per year venue which being a large soulless concrete structure will strangle the life out of any adjacent `regeneration`.

By John Burns

What about pantomimes, surely this will turn into one again if the project goes over budget, look at Spurs new ground now nearly £800m?

By Man on bicycle

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