Premier League football club Liverpool has today (Tuesday) been given the green light to expand the capacity of its Anfield stadium by around 7,000 to more than 61,000.

Liverpool City Council approved the proposed redevelopment of the stadium’s Anfield Road stand during a planning committee meeting. Liverpool has also been awarded permission to hold up to six concerts and major events at the stadium for a period of five years.

The plans for the proposed Anfield Road Stand were submitted in December following two stages of public consultation with local residents, businesses, fans and stakeholders.

The first stage included the permanent closure of a small section of Anfield Road, in line with the original planning permission granted in 2014. After listening to feedback on this option, Liverpool made changes to the plans.

The second stage of consultation was held in February 2020, when the club presented new and updated plans to keep Anfield Road open, with the road realigned around the footprint of the proposed expanded stand.

At the time, Liverpool had hoped the £60m (€69.7m/$84.4m) project would be completed before the start of the 2022-23 season but the club was forced to pause plans in April last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The earliest target for the completion of the project has been pushed back 12 months to the summer of 2023.

Following today’s announcement, Liverpool managing director Andy Hughes said: “This is a huge milestone in our journey towards bringing more supporters into Anfield. We underwent a rigorous two-stage public consultation period during the planning process for this project and I would like to thank everyone who has offered a contribution to that.

“We have been clear from the beginning that this expansion would be based on our ability to successfully navigate the complex planning landscape; our ability to gain co-operation of local residents and the community; and our ability to ensure the project is financially viable.

“In what has been a very unpredictable year, we are seeking certainty in order to progress with this project and there are still some steps we need to take to get there.”

The new Anfield Road stand will 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.

The latest extension will make Anfield the third largest stadium in the Premier League, behind Manchester United’s Old Trafford and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Image: Liverpool FC