English Premier League football club Everton is to launch a public consultation into the proposals for a new stadium on Bramley Moore Dock, with a planning application for the project to be submitted next year.
The consultation will be held next month under the campaign name ‘The People’s Project’ and it marks the start of the process that will eventually lead to the submission of planning applications for the new stadium and legacy plans at Everton’s current home ground, Goodison Park.
A new campaign website has been set up to house information on the consultation activities and provide information relating to the new waterfront stadium and the development of community-led amenities at Goodison Park.
The public consultation period begins on November 15 and will last three weeks, with locals to be asked for their opinions on the Bramley Moore Dock site and the Goodison Park legacy plans.
Everton said the planning applications for the two projects would be submitted “in the second half of next year” – later than originally planned. The club had initially set its sights on moving into the new stadium by the 2022-23 season but the following year now appears more likely.
Everton chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale, who met with stadium architect Dan Meis in New York this week, said: “This consultation marks a very significant moment as we progress with this project. We would like as many people as possible – and not just football fans – to take part and let us know their views.
“Our ambition is not just to create a new home for a very proud and historic football club but also a new landmark stadium, in an iconic setting, which will deliver huge regeneration benefits for the whole of the Liverpool City Region.
“We have deep roots in L4 and are committed to building on the extensive investment we have already made in the area. We are preparing plans to redevelop the existing stadium site to create facilities which will benefit the whole community, creating jobs and improving lives.
“Everton is committed to delivering an authentic football stadium which responds to Liverpool’s World Heritage Site designation. The plans we are developing will respect the historic features of the site and complement its surroundings.
“The rich history and connections between the old docker community and the city’s football family are inseparable. A move to the city’s North Docks will be very poignant for many of our supporters who will have had family members work there and will give them a chance to enjoy a part of cultural Liverpool that has not been open to the city for decades.”
The public consultation will feature an exhibition visiting locations such as Liverpool ONE, retail parks in Speke and Edge Lane, Birkenhead and New Brighton on the Wirral. Locals will be able to complete project surveys, the results of which will be used as part of Everton’s planning applications.
A second public consultation will then be held next summer, at which point Everton said it will present the proposed design of the new stadium.
Stadium development director Colin Chong added: “Our proposals are about to enter a new and very important stage as we begin this formal public consultation period. We and our advisers are stepping up our dialogue with a range of stakeholders as we progress our designs.
“We know everyone is very keen to see images of what the stadium might look like and we look forward to sharing them next year. We will abide by a careful and considered process that respects all stakeholders’ interests. This is a multi-faceted project and it is important that we do everything required to ensure our planning application, when it’s made, stands the best chance of success.
“The club has already carried out a huge amount of work to get us to our current position, making sure any scheme we develop is right for the club, the fans and for the city region as a whole. This is a long and methodical process and the public consultation forms an important part of this.”
Image: Ben Sutherland