Everton's revised stadium plans face Historic England criticism

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Aerial (drone) viewImage source, Pattern
Image caption,
The new stadium us planned for Bramley-Moore Dock, which lies within Liverpool's World Heritage Site

Everton's plans to build a new stadium on Liverpool's waterfront have been challenged again amid claims the project would harm the city's heritage.

The club has faced criticism from Historic England regarding its bid for a £500m 52,000-seat stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.

Revised plans were revealed by the club last week.

But Historic England said it remained unsatisfied and would refer the matter to the Secretary of State.

In the latest plans, Everton said it would "preserve the site's original features as far as possible" and maintain "visual interconnectivity to neighbouring docks".

It also promised to protect the dock walls under the stadium, so if the club ever relocated again the site could be reverse engineered.

Historic England acknowledged there had been "positive enhancements" and a "strong desire" to build a stadium "sensitive to its surroundings".

But the public body said the proposal to infill the dock "would result in substantial harm" to the Grade II-listed structure, which lies within Liverpool's World Heritage Site.

Image source, Historic England
Image caption,
Built in 1844, Bramley-Moore Dock is the biggest of five docks in the Stanley Dock complex

In a statement, a spokesman said: "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 think that this application should be determined by the Secretary of State."

Colin Chong, Everton's stadium development director, said in an email to fans the club had worked "extensively and collaboratively" with Historic England and other conservation organisations "over many months".

He said: "While we understand the position of these organisations, we also know that local politicians, more than 60,000 people who took part in our public consultations, our business community and stakeholders all have a different view and fully support our proposals.

"The local public has told us - in huge numbers - that they believe the public benefits of our plans far outweigh the suggested level of harm to the heritage assets."

He said the project would generate a £1bn boost to the city's economy and create up to 15,000 jobs.

Work is estimated to cost £500m and could start by early 2021 if permission is granted.

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