Historic England, a public heritage body that seeks to preserve and care for “England's historic environment” have called on the Government to scrutinise Everton's plans to build a new stadium on Liverpool's derelict north docks.
In a statement on their website, Historic England argue that Liverpool's docklands, a Unesco World Heritage Site, are the “pride” the city and “key to its global significance” and they are concerned that Everton's plans to build on the biggest of the docks in the Stanley Dock complex poses a significant threat to special character of the area.
“A new stadium for Everton Football Club is close to the hearts of its fans and football has long formed part of Liverpool's identity,” the statement reads. “We have had extensive and productive discussions with the Club about how best to develop the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock and understand the attraction of this exceptional location.
“Due to the impact of the proposals on a World Heritage Site, which has the highest level of heritage protection and is internationally significant, we regrettably think that this application should be determined by the Secretary of State and will ask for it to be called in for his determination. We have also advised that the application should be refused, unless the decision-maker concludes that the public benefits would outweigh the damage to Bramley-Moore dock and the harm to the World Heritage Site which the proposals would cause.”
Liverpool's docks have undergone years of regeneration that has transformed the city's waterfront — from the development of the Albert Dock and the erection of the Echo Arena at the King's Dock (to where, of course, Everton hoped to relocate back in 2004) to the Museum of Liverpool on the southern end closer to the city centre.
Meanwhile, Liverpool Waters under the auspices of Peel Holdings have long had a £5bn regeneration plan to redevelop the docks from Prince's Dock to the wastewater treatment plant north of Bramley Moore Dock primarily with residential buildings on the existing footprints.
Historic England's objections appear to be based not on Everton's plans to build on the dock site per se but on the club's desire to fill Bramley-Moore Dock in to create the footprint for the 52,000-plus stadium.
“We acknowledge the potential benefits that a new stadium could bring to north Liverpool and we understand the challenges that the area faces,” their statement continues. “The dock has planning permission for residential development so there are potential alternative solutions that could retain the water-filled dock whilst developing the currently derelict area. We do not believe that the city faces a stark choice between dereliction or football stadium.
“[W]e consider that the proposal to infill the dock would fundamentally change its historic character as a water-filled basin which so clearly tells the story of the docks and has contributed to its status as a World Heritage Site. The loss of the water would result in substantial harm to the significance of the Grade II listed Bramley-Moore Dock and cause harm to the World Heritage Site.
“Due to the impact of the proposals on a World Heritage Site, which has the highest level of heritage protection and is internationally significant, we regrettably think that this application should be determined by the Secretary of State and will ask for it to be called in for his determination.
“We have also advised that the application should be refused, unless the decision-maker concludes that the public benefits would outweigh the damage to Bramley-Moore dock and the harm to the World Heritage Site which the proposals would cause.”
Despite these perceived risks to the dock site and its heritage, Everton's plans are likely to be viewed favourably by the Government whose “Build, build, build” mantra is central to its hopes of stimulating the economy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union.
As such, a major construction project that is expected to bring thousands of jobs to Liverpool and has the potential to generate £1bn in benefits to the city could receive plenty of backing in Westminster, particularly if the Secretary of State feels that the club and the developers, Laing O'Rourke, have met the requirements of making the design sensitive to the character of the surrounding area.
Reader Comments (86)
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1 Posted 08/09/2020 at 16:22:26
2 Posted 08/09/2020 at 16:26:53
It will be interesting to see how this Tory government, desperate to get the economy moving, and big infrastructure projects and employment opportunities, might respond to the request to call it in.
3 Posted 08/09/2020 at 16:31:02
Added to that, Moshiri will hire the best legal team money can buy, I doubt Historic England has the funds to go toe-to-toe with us and it'll probably be thrown out long before needing a court decision.
4 Posted 08/09/2020 at 16:35:16
5 Posted 08/09/2020 at 16:38:11
It's white noise and they need to make the objection – otherwise, what's the point in their existence?
Our new Colombian links will smooth things over.
6 Posted 08/09/2020 at 16:41:47
7 Posted 08/09/2020 at 16:42:50
I guess these heritage people would rather see it remain a derelict eyesore than regenerated.
Has anyone checked they're not a Liverpool supporters club masquerading?
8 Posted 08/09/2020 at 16:43:41
World Heritage status, certainly in this instance, means and stands for absolutely nothing. The area gets nothing out of it!
9 Posted 08/09/2020 at 16:50:52
Given the (potentially very damaging) slack the Tory Government wishes to allow planning permission in the UK to combat what BoJo himself calls 'Nimbyism', and given the state of the economy in the wake of Brexit and Covid-19, it would be a huge shock if the government puts the mockers on this.
They need it, the city needs it, the region needs it and we the club very much need it.
10 Posted 08/09/2020 at 17:19:57
Have any of those ladies and gentlemen had a good look at the long term decay and dereliction of that area?
Far from detracting from a World Heritage Site, this investment and sympathetic development will be the unique saviour of this historical area.
It will inspire more careful and respectful investment, reinvigorate the local economy and bring new life, in every sense, to the surrounding environment. The past and the future working in harmony to create a better present.
11 Posted 08/09/2020 at 17:25:47
12 Posted 08/09/2020 at 17:26:09
Even if the land wasn't proposed to be used for a football stadium, they would dispute any modernisation of an area which is now wasteland and a total eyesore.
Maybe if they don't want a football stadium there, they need to put their money where their mouth is and build up the area so it can do justice to the great city of Liverpool.
13 Posted 08/09/2020 at 17:27:46
I ask English Heritage how many of their board would want to buy a residence in that part of Merseyside. The Albert Dock it ain't.
Liverpool Docks were hugey involved in the Slave Trade – should we preserve that filthy stain on our heritage too? FFS, let us move on.
EFC are providing a huge chance of significant regeneration in an area that has been crying out for it for decades. Don't stop it now.
14 Posted 08/09/2020 at 17:34:53
15 Posted 08/09/2020 at 17:42:44
The fact the club has bent over backwards in every aspect of the planning application and the economic implications it will have for the city, there's no way this will be called in. Especially in the current climate when this government wants to create jobs in a market that's on the downturn.
16 Posted 08/09/2020 at 17:47:08
No offence to anyone who lives in that area but it's a shit-hole and it really needs new life and I think all the local residents would agree and it would improve the area also.
I understand the docks had a significant heritage because it was the backbone and heartbeat of the city, But it's unused land now crumbling into nothing.
Really annoys the hell out of me all these graded buildings and sites, out with the old and in with the new I say. No one will care about our history if there is no future, the future of this area needs this new generation, its exciting times not just for us as fans but the entire city and surrounding areas.
I'm from the Wirral myself but when they built Liverpool one up it has taken Liverpool city centre to a whole new level, it's the place to go for anything you want, be it shopping, entertainment, food or a night out the place is absolutely buzzing constantly.
Having a new stadium and building up those docks will create a new legacy for Liverpool. Can't wait either!
Can't see the planning getting overturned though; too much investment and income. Those heritage England do-gooders will just have to suck it up.
17 Posted 08/09/2020 at 17:57:50
Our case is stronger. It will win.
18 Posted 08/09/2020 at 17:59:26
19 Posted 08/09/2020 at 18:00:11
20 Posted 08/09/2020 at 18:02:52
21 Posted 08/09/2020 at 18:11:08
Liverpool City Council could just revoke the WHS status then we save a fortune. Just left with the Grade 2 listing then.
22 Posted 08/09/2020 at 18:11:10
I have never veered from this view.
23 Posted 08/09/2020 at 18:13:46
They do acknowledge that if the Secretary of State concludes that the benefits outweigh any damage to the site, then it will go ahead. Given that part of the government justification for the billions being spent on HS2 is the creation of 22,000 jobs, then £500 M creating 15,000 jobs is a no-brainier.
Hopefully the club, contractors and Liverpool City Council are lobbying the appropriate politicians, including all in the north-west with many of their constituents likely to benefit. With the economy being on its knees, even this incompetent Cabinet will come to a positive conclusion on the project. I wonder whether anyone from English Heritage has actually visited the site? Even on TalkSport it was accurately described as derelict with no public access.
24 Posted 08/09/2020 at 18:15:13
Just wake me up when it's all over. Like a bloody never-ending nightmare. Thank God moving house is slightly easier.
25 Posted 08/09/2020 at 18:15:19
26 Posted 08/09/2020 at 18:22:25
What the fuck are these “English Heritage” Anoraks protecting anyway? A smelly, dank, water-filled hole? A place where even the seagulls and local rodents avoid like the plague!
This has all the hallmarks of an rs Sabotage campaign.
27 Posted 08/09/2020 at 18:50:54
I've never been a great fan of leaving Goodison – believing it to be a means towards an altogether different end for Russian money – but how the funding from Government and the National Lottery can find its way to the Heritage loonies defies belief!
28 Posted 08/09/2020 at 18:51:38
Johnathon, other than having a good whinge about EFC, what else do you enjoy? Russian Roulette, playing chicken on the M62, or swinging from the overhead wires on the railway?
29 Posted 08/09/2020 at 18:52:11
30 Posted 08/09/2020 at 18:58:20
Different department for called-in planning applications: Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government
As was previously mentioned, this was highlighted alongside the news of the revised design, so I am sure the club, council etc are on the case. It is something we need to keep an eye on though and it may be that at some point we may need to highlight our support of this in terms of the benefits it brings to the city and club.
31 Posted 08/09/2020 at 19:05:05
32 Posted 08/09/2020 at 19:17:51
Just imagine... luxury apartments next to a sewage farm.
33 Posted 08/09/2020 at 19:30:25
34 Posted 08/09/2020 at 19:43:18
35 Posted 08/09/2020 at 20:38:25
How would it be convenient for them for this to fail? It would be a massive, massive cost to the club.
So what exactly is the conspiracy your insinuating? That the club have pumped millions into a publicity stunt that they hope fails?
36 Posted 08/09/2020 at 20:47:51
38 Posted 08/09/2020 at 20:55:24
The E H, need to take off, their historical nostalgia gigs, and get real, to the 21century, and than mankind, Athens world and the Port of Liverpool, move on.
The days of the Onedin Line, passed, years ago, and the North Docks regeneration, plans are huge to the transformation of the City and its future prosperity.
Hopefully the government will tell, them to get real.
EFC, have complied with all asks, from all parties and surely, this irritation, can be cleared very soon, and the DIG, is not delayed.
These type of people,
39 Posted 08/09/2020 at 20:56:39
Need to look beyond the industrial past and build a new future.
40 Posted 08/09/2020 at 20:57:46
41 Posted 08/09/2020 at 20:59:20
These crackpots don't know history from shit and seek to hold the city back in some heritage Disneyland that never actually existed for their own private amusement.
They'll be given their marching orders from all sides of the political spectrum and any local politicians throwing their weight behind the whinging for their own gain will pay the consequences.
42 Posted 08/09/2020 at 21:03:13
43 Posted 08/09/2020 at 21:04:56
Announcing the stadium after the week we have had would be all too much for our lovable neighbours, and we cannot have that can we, especially while they still wait to have a victory parade.
44 Posted 08/09/2020 at 21:16:55
45 Posted 08/09/2020 at 21:23:13
46 Posted 08/09/2020 at 21:27:07
47 Posted 08/09/2020 at 22:01:18
48 Posted 08/09/2020 at 22:15:09
49 Posted 08/09/2020 at 22:28:26
I would just like to comment about my team Everton planning to build our new stadium on the Bramley Moore site (thanks for all you have done), and the objections raised by some people who are using the World Heritage threats to have it stopped. The "World Heritage Status" objection in my view is just snobby, jealous and judgemental people's way of getting in the way of progress. The Heritage of this City is based on world trade, migration and the culture of football, amongst other things. If Everton build our new stadium it will fit perfectly into our heritage with regard to migration and football. People departed these shores from the Liverpool Docks and took their football with them. I am sure that, just as there are Evertons around the world, there are other names of teams taken from British and Southern Irish clubs. A football stadium on a World Heritage site is a fitting and lasting tribute, and the case should be taken up by our City Council and argued. If we don't build the stadium then the site will remain an eyesore for at least 20 years or so, based on Peel Port's plans for the redevelopment of the site. I hope that these ridiculous objections can be ended once and for all.
51 Posted 08/09/2020 at 22:52:56
53 Posted 08/09/2020 at 23:03:19
Its legacy is to that of the slave trade and the empire, I can only put these claims down to mischief.
54 Posted 08/09/2020 at 23:12:20
I doubt this will be called in and will be dismissed quietly. With discussions done behind the scenes and brown paper bags changing hands.
55 Posted 08/09/2020 at 23:52:24
I would have thought that the location of the sewerage plant makes any residential development on the BMD site unlikely.
On the other hand once the stadium is built any multi storey commercial or residential development becomes a much more attractive proposition and the preservation of the remaining docks between BMD and the pier head almost guaranteed.
In response to Tony @ 42 - With a little bit of collaboration between the various stakeholders waterfront can be transformed into something like this.
Scroll down the page to see the transformation that took place over 20 years.
Then look at the the jobs created and private investments.
I would question the integrity of any government that stood in the way of this sort of regeneration.
56 Posted 09/09/2020 at 07:00:58
As it's been mentioned before, this project will add jobs, regeneration to the area.
Who are these fucktards? Why don't they move there and send us a postcard.
57 Posted 09/09/2020 at 07:26:10
58 Posted 09/09/2020 at 07:29:47
The Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has been accused of taking cash from billionaire developers to facilitate a development and of improperly taking the taxpayer of £100k in parliamentary expenses for a country house his family and he were isolating - all this just in the last five months.
I suggest that Jenrick could easily become an enormous supporter of the redevelopment up to the cabinet level and I'd be disappointed if that wasn't the case. The club should pull out all the stops here to get the support necessary to proceed.
In the interim, though, it is bad news. If the new stadium is not allowed to proceed, then there isn't a path to profitability for Moshiri and he has little or no financial incentive to retain his ownership stake. This is the worst case scenario and one we must do everything possible to avoid. Without a new stadium, we're sunk.
60 Posted 09/09/2020 at 08:27:43
Just exactly what they would consider as appropriate development appears to exclude any actual commercial activity at all. Residential? With the sewerage plant a 100 mtrs away? Not a good option. It's a badly run-down area both inside the dock walls and along the Dock road.
I think the sewerage plant has been the only development in the past 50 years if you exclude the current Stanley Dock project... has anyone ever taken a walk across the road behind the side streets such as Dublin Street, where the rats run free during the day! It's a nightmare, truly is.
Let's face it, is there any wonder the area has fallen into such decline when you have the restrictions placed on any development by the heritage lobby? If this doesn't get through, nothing will for another 50 years!
61 Posted 09/09/2020 at 08:55:24
Surely a dirty unsightly shithole is far more popular than a new multi-use leisure, commerce, arts, and housing project which they developed by trying to stop a fantastic football Stadium close by a sewage treatment works.
It is a very unfunny cost-spiralling joke, by the time this is sorted there'll be a sharp intake of breath and the price of materials will have gone through the roof.
62 Posted 09/09/2020 at 09:15:41
I wonder how we could convince him?
63 Posted 09/09/2020 at 09:45:59
Added to that, present them with the obvious defence... 'So you're happy to see the disused, derelict and totally un-useable docks remain disused, derelict etc. and thus deteriorate further.'
Funny how the Sewage Plant next door, didn't cause such historic dock heritage driven angst.
Last throw of the dice in the Kopite jealousy stakes. Not totally unexpected.
Tell 'em to do one and stick their blue plaque where the sun don't shine.
64 Posted 09/09/2020 at 10:23:36
My worry is that the obsession with building residential property, fuelled by the State-led misinformation campaign about the housing market, may cause the minister to give too much credence to any putative mainly residential scheme.
65 Posted 09/09/2020 at 12:01:59
He is senior consultant to a team which manages the rights to The Uefa Champiosn League. On his website, AlexBalfour.com, four of his searches are for stories relating to Liverpool FC... (maybe it was research!!!) Interesting what you can find... in plain sight.
66 Posted 09/09/2020 at 12:39:07
Dublin's North Quays in the 80's was pretty similar. Decrepit old red brick building half derelict. Weeds growing through the roofs. Old train lines rusting away. Undesirables roaming these areas at night. All of this 1 mile from the city centre. Sound familiar ?
Hey presto Government decides to put in a financial centre- followed by apartments. Then hotels follow. Think Liverpool Waters. Then the old disused ( heritage site of a goods train station) is converted into the 3 Arena and bingo you've gotten a fabulous new area right along the river which is thriving ( Covid excepted)
So unless the UK Govt are total imbeciles it will happen, and quickly, as they will want to be cutting the ribbon
67 Posted 09/09/2020 at 13:14:39
a heritage site. It therefor begs the question that if the area met heritage requirements with the sewage works
already in situ,why would the stadium not?
68 Posted 09/09/2020 at 13:20:11
Jenrick's decision went against the advice of the local authority planning departments and the decision of the [government-appointed] planning inspector.
The local authorities concerned sued him for judicial review, on the basis of 'apparent bias' in the decision-making process.
Just before the document disclosure stage, Jenrick admitted 'apparent bias' and the case was settled, so he didn't need to disclose the relevant documents to the court. He declined invitations to resign.
Some planning lawyers I know, regard him as a laughing stock. Whether this is good or bad for us, I'm not quite sure.
69 Posted 09/09/2020 at 13:23:16
Surely the right answer is obvious?
70 Posted 09/09/2020 at 13:31:39
72 Posted 09/09/2020 at 15:57:28
Who's running this 'Heritage Society'? – Alan Partridge?
73 Posted 09/09/2020 at 16:35:56
It would be better to acknowledge that, as they have consistently shown throughout the Kenwright era, the people running the club just cant get anything right.
Am surprised that any of you are surprised at the latest turn of events.
74 Posted 09/09/2020 at 17:04:26
I can kind of see their point even though I dont agree with it. I dont see that history necessarily has to be preserved to that nth degree and the bureaucrats should have that flexibility too.
As Ive posted, my concern is the hyped up importance of residential developments will give the minister a sound bite he cant resist.
75 Posted 09/09/2020 at 17:48:17
76 Posted 09/09/2020 at 17:58:05
I mean, the dock walls etc. are being preserved so the only thing thats going is the water in the dock.
You couldnt make it up.🤦🏻♂️
77 Posted 09/09/2020 at 18:00:02
I find it very difficult to imagine a Tory government at any time standing in the way of such a fantastic project for the city of Liverpool. When taking the current economic plight into account the timing of the objections by WHS is probably actually pretty good for EFC.
78 Posted 09/09/2020 at 18:14:13
79 Posted 09/09/2020 at 23:27:50
There is no way on earth Everton's proposals for development will be turned down. To miss out on the prosperity that a project like this will generate and the growth catalyst in the vicinity would be sheer madness to turn down.
Rest easy the faithful, we will be moving in!
80 Posted 10/09/2020 at 09:28:04
81 Posted 10/09/2020 at 10:37:08
82 Posted 10/09/2020 at 10:53:39
Heritage is not how Id describe it
83 Posted 10/09/2020 at 12:12:10
Wont hurt I guess
85 Posted 10/09/2020 at 16:15:10
The next step is for Liverpool City Council to review and process the amended planning application before starting their formal public consultation period. Led by the Council, the public consultation is a legal requirement that is anticipated to last 28 days and offers the public an opportunity to comment on the Clubs amended planning application.
Due to the size of the application Liverpool City Council may need to convene a special planning committee meeting towards the end of the year to make its determination. Subject to planning approval as well as the finalising of funding, the Club hopes that work could commence on-site early in 2021.
86 Posted 10/09/2020 at 17:19:19
I cant agree, to say they are just trying to keep themselves relevant isn't clearly an excuse for what to me is just obstruction.
Everton have made every concession to sensitive regeneration as far as I can see, notably actually improving the hydraulic tower ? And more.
Will this same group object to the demolition of Goodison??
Been quiet on that haven't they ?
After all it's only over a hundred years old, has been integral to the city of Liverpool, home to a founder member, the first purpose built ground, record attendances, world cup venue and much much more heritage.
Am I missing something here, why aren't they objecting to its demolition while they are fuckin at it.
87 Posted 10/09/2020 at 22:36:31
Surely with his sports business hat on. (He is involved with UEFA, Olympic stadium etc, he should be on side!!)
He was reappointed to the board of Historic England in 2017 by the Department of Culture Media and Sport. Has to be some sort of conflict of interest!! Or am I just being a bit of a conspiracy theorist...
88 Posted 10/09/2020 at 23:02:14
89 Posted 11/09/2020 at 09:38:53
If their efforts to preserve the facade of the Futurist cinema (a well supported local campaign) are anything to go by, we have little to worry about.
90 Posted 12/09/2020 at 10:04:14
You couldn't make this stuff up, could you? Let's preserve something no-one can see or has access to...
These same people I bet you would not give a fuck for the men who built the wall or worked on the docks, they would walk past you as you were breaking your back in the pissing-down freezing rain. admiring the stonework.
Join your friends at English Heritage (whatever) and get a real cause.
91 Posted 15/09/2020 at 21:40:32
Having this accolade is for the very important issue of heritage and history and all Evertonians should respect this, just as we and the club should respect our own heritage by re-developing Goodison Park, our home of 128 years!
92 Posted 15/09/2020 at 22:25:18
Greatie Market should be recreated "everything on the floor a happeny". Anyone who moved out in the '50s and '60s to Kirkby, Skem, wherever should be decanted back and issued demob suits and flat caps.
These pricks should be made to live there, six in a room, coats on the bed, cooking on the fire and an outside bog. Heritage, my arse!
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