SBD/June 1, 2012/Facilities

EPL's Liverpool Expected To Expand Stadium Rather Than Build New Facility

EPL club Liverpool is “expected to announce within weeks they intend to stay at Anfield, not build their long-planned new stadium on Stanley Park,” according to David Conn of the GUARDIAN. Under plans drawn up by the Liverpool city council and revealed to local residents, “houses would be demolished to enable the club to expand Anfield's main stand.” City council Assistant Dir of Regeneration Mark Kitts said that “homes would be given ‘an open market valuation’ -- which he suggested could be upgraded to reflect an area in better condition -- plus a 10% ‘home loss payment’ and removal costs.” Conn notes Liverpool "will not have to negotiate directly with residents or buy their houses.” Kitts said that the council “has the option of applying for compulsory purchase powers, to force residents to sell, if necessary.” Liverpool's "principal physical obstacle is not enlarging Anfield's footprint -- their plan is understood to involve adding an extra tier, plus corporate facilities, to the Anfield Road and main stands." Doing so, however, "would block the ‘right to light’ of those neighbouring houses.” Kitts said he believed the demolitions would “solve the right to light issues.” He added that the council “hopes to begin work as soon as this summer.” Conn notes the council “still favours” a new stadium, but Liverpool Owner Fenway Sports Group has “made it clear since it bought the club that it would prefer to enlarge Anfield, mainly because it is cheaper” (GUARDIAN, 6/1).
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