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Bellefield Disappointment

A planning inquiry rejects proposal for housing at Bellefield.

Bellefield Disappointment

Everton officials have revealed disappointment at the rejection of plans for the Bellefield site.

A planning hearing into the Club's application for a housing development at the West Derby location rejected the Club's proposal this week.

The hearing was held from 26-28 November, 2008, after Everton appealed against Liverpool City Council's (LCC) original decision to refuse plans for 74 homes to be built on the site of the former first-team training ground.

Everton appealed under section 78 of the Town and Country planning act of 1990. The initial application was refused in June 2008.

Everton acting chief executive Robert Elstone said the decision seemed to go against LCC's own recommendations.

He explained: "The truly disappointing aspect of this is that the politcians who run this city went against the recommendations of the Council's own planning experts. In such circumstances you have to ask, why is that? What is the point in employing experienced and learned experts if you are simply going to ignore their advice?

"Over the past few years we have constantly shown a willingness to work with Liverpool City Council to safeguard the long-term future of our football club...sadly, it does not appear to be a reciprocal arrangement.

"The council's own Director of Planning threw his weight behind this project - he believed it to be both sensible and suitable - and so did we."

The development would have seen the new homes constructed, as well as the creation of an access road from Sandforth Road and the demolition of four houses.

LCC originally refused the plans following letters of objection from local residents concerned about a potential increase in traffic in the area.

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