English Premier League football club Liverpool will this week submit a planning application for a proposed expansion of its Anfield Road stand that would increase the stadium’s overall capacity by around 7,000 to more than 61,000.

The planning application also includes a request from Liverpool to hold more concerts and major events at Anfield. Several concerts were held at the stadium in the summer of 2019.

The club had hoped to submit a planning application to Liverpool City Council back in the spring but was forced to pause the project in April due to COVID-19. As a result, the earliest target for the completion of the project, which will cost a reported £60m (€67m/$80.2m), was pushed back 12 months to the summer of 2023.

The plans for the expansion of the Anfield Road stand have been the subject of two stages of public consultation with local residents, businesses, fans and stakeholders. The first stage launched 12 months ago and included the permanent closure of a small section of Anfield Road, in line with the original planning permission granted in 2014.

Following feedback on this option, Liverpool made changes to the plans. The club held a second-stage consultation in February, at which point it presented new and updated plans for the expansion of the Anfield Road stand.

The new plans will keep Anfield Road open, with the road to be realigned around the footprint of the proposed expanded stand. Liverpool said that more than 700 responses were received to the consultation, with the revised plans being well received and supported by the vast majority of residents.

Andy Hughes, managing director of Liverpool, said: “We have been clear from the start that the expansion would be based on three things: financial viability and sustainability, the successful navigation of the complex planning landscape and with the cooperation of local residents and the community.

“We’d like to thank everyone who has offered a contribution to that consultation process. We feel that we now have a proposal that has been informed by our neighbours, will support the wider economy and provide an opportunity for more of our fans to come to Anfield to support our great team.

“The last nine months without fans in our stadium has driven home our commitment to making Anfield accessible to more fans than ever before and while a high level of uncertainty remains around COVID-19, we would like to be in a position to move ahead with the proposed redevelopment as soon as the time is right, which is why we’ve decided to move forward with submitting the planning application.”

Liverpool City Council is expected to decide on the planning application next spring. If approved, it would mark the second major expansion of Anfield in recent years, with the stadium’s Main Stand having been redeveloped in 2016 to increase the ground’s capacity by 9,000.

Liverpool is set to welcome fans back to Anfield this weekend for the first time since March when it hosts Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League. The city of Liverpool is in Tier 2 of England’s COVID-19 alert system, meaning that up to 2,000 supporters will be allowed at the stadium.

Image: Liverpool FC