BLOG: How teamwork helped Everton get the right result at Bramley Moore – and why good planning points to a positive future
The newest addition to the city’s waterfront is fast emerging on our skyline thanks in part to a team off the pitch working their socks off, writes Sam Campbell, Liverpool City Council’s Director of Planning and Building Control.
Everton Football Club’s new football stadium at Bramley Moore Dock has been on the rise ever since planning permission was granted in June 2021.
Construction is set to complete in late 2024 with anticipation building for this new chapter in the club’s history as they move out of their current home at Goodison Park.
This development will deliver one of the best designed football stadium’s on one of the most iconic waterfront’s in the world, and has already been pencilled in to stage matches for Euro 2028.
Given a large proportion of the north docks were derelict and closed off to the public, this represents a remarkable transformation which is being achieved as a result of positive support the City Council provided particularly through the Planning and Building control process.
Planning permission was granted after extensive negotiations and consultation during the assessment period.
Over 30 organisations were involved in the planning process and more than 2,000 representations were received from members of the public. With huge local support and plenty of international interest with letters from as far afield as Europe, Australia, USA etc demonstrating how important an event this was for so many.
And given the city’s World Heritage Status was already at risk and some opposition from heritage bodies it was a huge challenge for the Planning Team to navigate through.
A critical aspect of the planning negotiations was to ensure the quality of the scheme lived up to the importance of the opportunity and that implications of leaving Goodison was carefully considered in parallel.
A separate part of the team have been working hard with Everton FC to ensure that the legacy project at the current stadium embeds sustainable place based regeneration for the benefit of the communities at its heart.
Whilst it was a demanding period for officers the experience was helped by the constructive approach adopted by the club and their consultant team.
From the outset Everton FC have fully appreciated their critical role in the city and the close partnership with the Council has been instrumental in meeting the shared ambition.
Now that the development is taking shape it is clear that the efforts taken to ensure the stadium was grounded and the design respected the site’s unique heritage have been worthwhile and will unlock the site’s potential.
The fact the club are investing £55m in upgraded historic assets such as the pumphouse, which will become a heritage visitor centre, speaks volumes for that approach.
The quality of the building and high standard of external landscaping will be evident to all when the development is complete and a once restricted dockland area central to the history of the city will be opened to the public as a new civic space.
The stadium will also benefit from the £100m+ the Council has invested in the surrounding transport infrastructure, with more enhancements in the pipeline.
Most importantly the investment will help transform this area of the city and accelerate the regeneration of the Northern Docks and adjoining Ten Streets area, continuing the public benefits beyond the stadium alone.
This regeneration work will take a multi-team approach over the next few years, bringing together planning, development, property, highways and business support, amongst others, to maximise the substantial potential of this wider area.
The stadium will be a vital anchor in the emerging Waterfront Strategy, which will seek to set out a world class vision from Bramley Moore Dock to the Festival Gardens development zone.
Witnessing that is a source of pride the team played and the role it continues to play managing development in future.