The massive response to the second stage of our public consultation has demonstrated just how strongly our proposals for a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock (within Peel L&Ps Liverpool Waters) and a community-led legacy project at Goodison Park have resonated across the city region.
The fact that so many came out to have a say is a major source of pride for us and says a lot about the passion people have, not only for Everton Football Club, but for developing the Liverpool City Region.
I’d like to thank the thousands of Evertonians, fans of other clubs and those without an interest in football who had their say through what we understand has been a record-breaking consultation process in Liverpool.
More than 43,000 took part in our second stage consultation and when you add that figure to the 20,000 that took part in our first stage, it provides a real sense of the scale of responses we have been working through.
Our date of submission
I’m pleased to confirm that our detailed planning application for a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock will be submitted on Monday 23 December. This will be followed by an outline application for a legacy project at Goodison Park, with the intention for both applications to be determined by Liverpool City Council at the same time.
The opinions, ideas and observations we received through the consultation process have been used by the project team to inform our final proposals.
Working alongside our design consultants, we have analysed the feedback to enhance the concepts we’ve already shared for the look, feel and layout of a stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, including our plans to not only preserve but to also celebrate the site’s heritage. The planning application for a new stadium will be incredibly detailed. Given the nature of the site, we will address the many site-specific issues relating not only to the historic designation but to the legacy of the site, including ground conditions, ecology and accessibility.
The next step is for Liverpool City Council to review and process our significant and complex application, which will take time due to the scale of the submission, before starting their formal consultation period. We have worked closely with the Liverpool Planning Authority and Historic England to shape the application and ensure the required detail is included to enable our proposals to be appropriately considered.
Our final proposals
We will, of course, be releasing new images, as well as updating our app and flythough video with the new designs. These will be available on evertonfc.com and peoples-project.co.uk from the afternoon of Monday 23 December.
As the new visuals will show, it is a case of evolution rather than any major changes to the design presented during the second stage consultation. The results of that consultation made it clear Dan Meis’ design was incredibly well received. The elements that the feedback told us people really loved about the design – the use of brick, the steepness of the stands, the respect to the area’s heritage and nod to Archibald Leitch’s architecture in the brickwork as well as the blending of new and old – are all present within our final proposals.
The site is a former dock so I am sure you will be able to appreciate the work required to make it fit to house a state-of-the-art Premier League stadium. We have identified all the heritage assets including cobbles, capstones, mooring posts and former tram lines and how we can incorporate them into our plans as far as possible. We have also identified areas of that will require remediation works.
There is a plan to repair and preserve the dock walls under the stadium, retain the water channel to maintain the interconnectivity of the docks and preserve and restore the hydraulic tower to bring it back into public use. We are working with key cultural and heritage stakeholders to help us deliver this.
Bramley-Moore Dock is a naturally exposed site so we have been continually looking at ways of using the elements to our advantage and to lessen any negative impact they may have on the playing and visitor experience. We have put our concept designs through rigorous wind, acoustic and pedestrian modelling and have included additional measures that will be seen in our final proposals.
Our pedestrian modelling study has ensured our final designs create accessible, inclusive, welcoming and exciting spaces for all. We’ve been continually using computer fluid dynamics software to map how fans, staff and visitors will move around the stadium, Fan Plaza and public areas on matchdays and non-matchdays.
Perhaps some of the most interesting and exciting work we’ve been conducting is how we help facilitate the best possible atmosphere for Evertonians on matchday.
Goodison Park is a special place with a special atmosphere. While we can’t replicate it decibel for decibel, we can create something that will be as inspiring and vibrant - as well as being intimidating for the opposition. To carry that unique sense of place through to our proposed new Bramley-Moore Dock home, we’ve been carrying out detailed studies of the acoustics at Goodison Park. Without getting too technical, following a home team goal at Goodison noise levels fall into the ‘extremely loud’ category when the ball hits the back of the opposition’s net. As much as that noise is down to our great support, it is also down to how the eruption of sound bounces off the walls and roof of the stands onto the pitch.
Taking our learnings from Goodison Park, we’ve been testing the acoustics of our proposed designs to measure how sounds of celebration will travel, reverberate and enhance the atmosphere but still create the sense of intimacy in a larger space. The intention is to contain the noise within the stadium to maximise the atmosphere but also to limit the impact of noise pollution on the surrounding area.
As a Club we are also challenging ourselves to think about how the stadium design and our legacy project will respond to our city region’s climate change crisis. Our city and city region politicians have declared a climate emergency and we are looking at the positive moves that can be made around transport, air quality, energy generation, conservation, waste recycling and how we can contribute to a low carbon economy.
All of the above will form part of our detailed planning application alongside the detailed design and access statement, evidence of community engagement and a full environmental impact assessment, backed by around 50 detailed reports.
Our team is also analysing the tens of thousands of responses and comments we’ve received about our proposed approach to the redevelopment of Goodison Park. This feedback has informed the content of our ‘outline’ planning application for the legacy project. Outline planning is an important step and will determine whether the amount of development and nature of the proposals are acceptable to the planning authority before detailed plans are prepared and submitted.
We have continued to engage with key politicians on both a local and national level, business leaders across our region and heritage stakeholders. Our CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Richard Kenyon our Director of Marketing, Communications and Community and myself have had the pleasure of speaking at, and will continue to attend, many events and conferences to explain how The People’s Project will provide a platform for growth both for our Club and our city region.
We have been able to highlight the overwhelming support we have received and how this transformational project could deliver a £1bn boost to our economy, create the potential for up to 15,000 new jobs and attract 1.4m new visitors to our region annually.
It was really pleasing to see industry experts hailing the award-winning engagement and consultation work we have carried out so far. There will be further engagement with Evertonians in 2020 as we begin to focus on the details, including the matchday experience. There will also be more conversations to be had in the future with the local community living around Goodison Park, local businesses and community groups as we begin to refine our legacy plans.
I believe this is one of the most exciting development projects in world football and I look forward to sharing more updates as we progress through the planning process.