EPL Liverpool Says It's Hoping To Submit Anfield Expansion Plans By April
EPL Liverpool "hope to submit plans to redevelop Anfield before the end of the season and complete work on an expanded Main Stand" before '18, according to Andy Hunter of the London GUARDIAN. A document entitled the Anfield Spatial Regeneration Framework was released on Thursday, "giving more details on Liverpool's stadium scheme, plus the city council's attempt to improve housing and job prospects in Anfield." Liverpool would immediately apply for "planning permission to expand the Main Stand and Anfield Road Stand, it hopes, although the city council has still to acquire four houses." The club would "initially focus on a complex expansion of its Main Stand before deciding on the viability of following suit at the Anfield Road end." While "no designs are included in the SRF," Liverpool intends to build "up and over" the existing Main Stand, "partially demolish the existing structure, and finally join the old and new stands together" (GUARDIAN, 1/30). In Liverpool, James Pearce reported if the SRF is "approved by Liverpool City Council" on Feb. 7, there will be a "four-week public consultation period before it is finalised." Just four properties needed to expand the stadium "are still to be acquired." Those four are owned by two landlords "and negotiations with them are ongoing." If deals "cannot be agreed then as a last resort the council will pursue compulsory purchase order (CPO) powers in order to secure the properties" (LIVERPOOL ECHO, 1/30).
WORKING TOGETHER: Also in Liverpool, Marc Waddington reported Liverpool Council execs on Thursday said that "they won't be held to ransom by owners of the properties that stand in the way" of the £260M ($428.6M) regeneration of the Anfield area. The land "is vital if Liverpool Football Club is to expand its stadium to a 60,000 seat capacity." Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said, "My message (to the owners) is talk to us, we are listening to you ... we are offering, in my view, a good deal. It’s market value and I think they will want to talk to us because if they don’t we will move ahead with the plans in the proposal and we will look at compulsory purchase. They need to understand that I’m not going to sit back and let this scheme be held up by a few people." It is "expected the council will be asked to approve the use of CPO powers by the end of February, but negotiations with the owners will continue up to that point" (LIVERPOOL ECHO, 1/30).