Updated Everton's Director of Marketing, Communications & Community, Richard Kenyon, has highlighted the club's extensive consultation process vis-a-vis the historic nature of the Bramley-Moore Dock site in the wake of objections to the proposed stadium from heritage bodies.
Both English Heritage and the Victorian Society have voiced their concerns over what they deem will be “incontrovertible harm” done to the Grade II listed walls of the dock by Everton's proposed new ground and have asked that the scheme be called in by the Secretary of State.
The club have responded to the initial concerns over the designs that were submitted in December to Liverpool City Council as part of the planning application for Bramley-Moore Dock by making substantial changes to their plans, specifically on the west side of the development.
A proposed multi-storey car park has been withdrawn from the plans in favour of a stepped plaza and a smaller, single-level parking area on the West Quay and these were included in an updated planning application that was submitted to LCC last week.
In addition to the Ten Streets initiative, Everton's plans are part of a revised North Shore Vision, a new “heritage-led” plan for the north docks area that aims to replace that put forward by Peel Holdings and Liverpool Vision and propose redevelopment of the derelict docklands that the council hope will help Liverpool retain its UNESCO World Heritage Status.
Speaking at an online Westminster Business Forum's event looking at the future of infrastructure in the Liverpool City region, Kenyon described the lengths to which Everton have engaged all interested parties in the city as part of an extensive consultation process.
“With any big scheme like this it's crucial that you take your time to set out the position and to give information and detail, and we've been very careful to do that over the last two years,” he said.
"We are looking at redeveloping a site that is part of the city's history but currently derelict. We wanted to put that front and centre of our position and explain why we were going to that site, the benefits of that not just to us, but the whole of the city region and most importantly, what we were doing to not impact heritage - but to enhance it, celebrate it and showcase it - to make it available to people.
"I think by putting all of that out there - very honestly and very much supported by the facts - we let people make their own decisions.
"We went to every length to get across all the boroughs of the city region over an extensive period to capture what those opinions were.
"Some criticism we have had has actually been from our own supporters early on in the process to ask us 'why is this taking so long', 'why are you consulting so extensively', 'why are you continuing to go out and ask us and the community things - just get on with the stadium'.
"While we wanted to do that, we knew that it was absolutely critical to the success of the project that we got the information out clearly so people could make an informed decision.
"We've been absolutely blown away by the level of support we've had, not just in that consultation but by people right across the spectrum."
Providing there are no significant delays caused by Governmental review of the scheme in Westminster, Everton hope to get the green light from the Council for Bramley-Moore Dock towards the end of this year and for construction to begin in early 2021.
Meanwhile, the director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, which was set up to drive economic growth in the North of England, has weighed in, arguing that Liverpool's World Heritage status has “served its purpose” and that it would be unwise to delay the stadium project.
Henri Murison said: “Unnecessarily delaying a £1bn mega-project such as this would be a huge mistake. Historic England's reading of the requirements of the World Heritage Status, which has already served its purpose in establishing [Liverpool's] visitor brand, shows that the time may have come when the disadvantages [of the status] for the city outweigh any residual benefits it brings.”
“In reality, the power of such a scheme can prove transformative in unlocking the true economic potential of Liverpool and the North in both the short- and long-term.
“Projects like this represent a critical example of the role that forward-thinking organisations such as Everton and their wider partners can play in investing in local communities and ‘building back better' — closing the North/South divide one step at a time.”
Reader Comments (34)
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1 Posted 14/09/2020 at 08:02:16
2 Posted 14/09/2020 at 08:49:06
Surely, English Heritage have a responsibility to promote our country's history? So shortsighted complaining about this when the reality is that virtually no one outside of Liverpool (including many people from with Liverpool) will know anything about Bramley Moore Dock.
People from all over the country (and hopefully Europe!) will suddenly be aware of the place and exposed to the site's history when they come to visit. That can only be a good thing?
3 Posted 14/09/2020 at 09:41:20
Why not have access points inside the Stadium where the walls can be viewed – like the "Old Dock" at Liverpool One?
4 Posted 14/09/2020 at 09:42:59
The project is certainly heritage led. It will transform a derelict area and enhance it for the whole community to enjoy that heritage.
It will create jobs and boost the local economy, long-term. In these uncertain times, that is music to the government's ears.
The government will weigh up the incredible amount of positives against the few, hardly credible, negatives. They may ask for some final tweaks and guarantees but this project is an undeniable force for good on many fronts and will be going ahead.
5 Posted 14/09/2020 at 09:49:47
What makes me laugh about English Heritage is a lot of the time they only get involved when someone commits to saving a building. A structure may be on its last legs, one storm and it will be gone, yet when someone decides to pump hundreds of thousands into preserving the building, they then become interested and their demands become ridiculous.
6 Posted 14/09/2020 at 12:50:17
7 Posted 14/09/2020 at 13:15:06
The answer to the heritage question is to have designs and buildings that share an eye to the past but also look to the future. So sympathetic design with stand out features.
This development will not only bring a football stadium, it will bring multi million pound investment to an area that sorely needs that investment to re-energise the area. In the end heritage and the past cannot be the sole reason not to move forward and provide jobs and infrastructure, neither should they be done to the total detriment of our heritage. I think this gives hues to the heritage and provides restoration to a good deal of what is currently in situ.
8 Posted 14/09/2020 at 14:49:27
9 Posted 14/09/2020 at 15:59:57
10 Posted 14/09/2020 at 17:01:36
Protect our history by all means but that area is a tip.
11 Posted 14/09/2020 at 17:16:56
This is an extract from a 2009 government directive. It would appear that, unless English Heritage withdraw their objection, the planning authority must refer the planning application to the Secretary of State.
WORLD HERITAGE SITES
7. The direction introduces a new requirement for local planning authorities to refer applications where they are minded to grant planning permission in circumstances where English Heritage has objected on the grounds that a proposed development could have an adverse impact on the outstanding universal value, integrity, authenticity and significance of a World Heritage Site or its setting, including any buffer zone or its equivalent, and has not withdrawn that objection.
12 Posted 14/09/2020 at 18:33:21
13 Posted 14/09/2020 at 18:44:21
14 Posted 14/09/2020 at 19:08:02
What is eating away me is the feeling that it is more than just the issues they have raised. They seem so insignificant compatible the massive social and economic gains, along with triggering massive investment protecting the heritage of the dockland. The area is desperate for this investment, without it the dereliction and decay will eventually destroy what's there.
In short, English Heritage are playing fast and loose with English heritage. Their decision is illogical and irrational when the big picture is taken into account. This leads me to believe there is a malevolence in this obstruction that is damaging to all concerned.
15 Posted 14/09/2020 at 19:20:27
As has been stated above, this will highlight the historical magnificence of the northern docks, which has been hidden and left to ruin by these so-called guardians.
It is to be hoped that the diligence that the club and the architects have shown in presenting the plans will persuade the City planning authorities to ignore the knee-jerk objections.
This sort of development is exactly what central government's 'build, build, build' exhortations are supposed to be about.
16 Posted 14/09/2020 at 19:48:25
I don't live in the city, I live in the countryside and English Heritage should be dragged through a very thick hedge backwards for the amount of damage that they have let happen to thousands of listed buildings across this country.
They need a good dose of reality shoving up them to realise what is best for them and their credentials and what is best for a community and what it stands for and supports. Let's get it built. Come on you blue boys!
17 Posted 14/09/2020 at 19:57:02
18 Posted 14/09/2020 at 20:06:57
It would be very interesting to see how many if any objections that English Heritage has raised in Manchester / Salford in the last couple of decades. Surely the history of Manchester as the heartland of the Industrial Revolution must have had loads of objections raised whenever the city welcomed developers to modernise the city?
19 Posted 14/09/2020 at 20:35:41
Nothing has held back Manchester, it's just grew and grew, but it will never have a waterfront like Liverpool, a waterfront with that much scope that it could catapult our city into one of Europe's finest if we could just take away the decay!
20 Posted 14/09/2020 at 20:42:14
21 Posted 14/09/2020 at 22:19:27
22 Posted 15/09/2020 at 10:19:48
23 Posted 15/09/2020 at 10:44:35
According to tinternet the members are Professor James Garden who is director of Edinburgh surgery online. Paul Jardine director Jura consultants and another from Edinburgh. Jeremy Chittleburgh senior partner of Cheine & Tait also a member of the Edinburgh chamber of commerce. What the significance of Edinburgh I have no idea. the others listed are Andrew Henderson, Mark Hopton, Julia Rimmer, Neil Rennick and Megan Verones. I didnt bother to check what they do for a living. But not that it enlightens us Dave but to answer your question some of these make up the World Heritage group.
24 Posted 15/09/2020 at 11:15:41
25 Posted 15/09/2020 at 19:13:15
Why aren't they objecting to the demolition of Goodison and its hundred plus years of Heritage? Its significance as the first purpose built football stadium and its significance in the history of Liverpool life.
Do they only object to things being built and not pulled down?
Let me say I'm not opposing the plans for the Goodison area but shouldn't these two organisations be, pure contradiction and hypocrisy is what it is and as I have said before clear obstruction.
Their objection is so pathetic it makes you question their real motives.
26 Posted 15/09/2020 at 19:31:59
Its all well and good sitting in their town houses on the Royal Mile pontificating about saving a few bricks and a septic tank but what about the lives of the people which could be vastly improved by this investment?
If thatcher couldnt kill us, these wankers certainly wont!
27 Posted 15/09/2020 at 20:38:10
In The Guardian, this morning. The story is also covered in the Daily Mail.
The Northern Powerhouse Partnership is strongly behind the project and sees it as a regeneration catalyst for not just Liverpool and Merseyside but the wider north.
28 Posted 15/09/2020 at 20:52:50
A direct link to the NPP and their view on the consequences of any delay to the stadium development.
29 Posted 15/09/2020 at 21:49:39
if you click the "Nicest prison I've seen" comment, the following comment can be seen above it:
"This looks like a great scheme and its a site that has been crying out for a decent proposal for years. I hope the NIMBYs dont prevail with this one. The alternative would be an ‘off-the-conveyor-belt housing scheme (I should know, Ive drawn up such a scheme for a developer on this site in the past!)".
It's not beyond possibility that there are such potential schemes held in abeyance for ten or twenty years hence, which we certainly would not get to hear about.
I discovered personally many years ago how much longer term planning goes on in the background, mostly in the area of large scale housing development. Hopefully, this isn't a factor here.
30 Posted 15/09/2020 at 22:04:33
Common sense and looking to the future and not the past, must prevail in this case.
Transformation of this area of the City, is key to the future economic growth, of the City and the region.
Its a no brainier and EFC, have done every thing by the book and followed protocol.
These people in WH are blinkered, naive and very ignorant, to the reality and positive impact of BMD.
31 Posted 16/09/2020 at 15:17:44
Tony #14, I doubt there is any malevolence in it (unless they are all RS supporters up there in Edinburgh). It's more likely a box ticking CYA exercise, they have to be seen to be actively protecting a historic monument, even despite the fact that nobody can see it, knows it exists, or gives a shit either way.
32 Posted 16/09/2020 at 15:27:59
If the bid does get referred to the Secretary of State, I would think that, for a Tory government, this quango has more clout.
33 Posted 16/09/2020 at 15:33:25
34 Posted 17/09/2020 at 04:47:11
Thank you for your answer. You have to admit though it would be a big museum!!
You are probably right in saying it's a box-ticking exercise but its exactly this which infuriates me, the objection has no credibility and appears to be a massive ego trip for these groups, just to have their names being mentioned in a project of this scale as opposed to an old library or something.
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