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Everton To Consider Pulling Out Of Kirkby Project

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The club are taking independent advice to see whether they should stick or twist with the proposed stadium. It'll be interesting if they make the decision before the EGM takes place.



A CRUCIAL report from Everton FC’s lawyers will decide whether the club should press ahead with its £400m dream move to Kirkby, the Daily Post has learned.


It came as Tesco, which will build a huge superstore as part of the project, called on the Government to fix a date for a public inquiry at the earliest possible time.


The legal advice being drawn up for the club will be put to an emergency club board meeting expected next week.


Everton has sought advice on the chances of success at the public inquiry – called on Wednesday – and therefore whether it should continue or walk away from the move to Knowsley.


It is understood that if the club presses ahead with the Kirkby stadium plan, now expected to be delayed by 12 to 18 months, an exclusivity agreement with Tesco will preclude Everton from drawing up alternative Plan B proposals.


After Everton’s board meets, representatives from Tesco, Knowsley Council, and the club will then gather to decide a way forward.


Last night, a club source said a new stadium was needed as a matter of urgency and, whatever the decision taken, staying at Goodison in its current form was not viable in the long term.


If Kirkby falls through, Everton will have to re-examine re-development of Goodison Park or moving elsewhere.


A source at the Department for Communities and Local Government, which is over-seeing the process, said officials recognised the importance and urgency of a swift decision.


Knowsley Council will be written to again within the next few days to let the authority know the name of the planning inspector that will handle the case.


Everton FC, Tesco, and Knowsley Council will then have to prepare a statement of “common ground” for the inquiry.


Public inquiries into schemes of this size usually hear a number of weeks of evidence. The recent inquiry into the plans to build more than 1,300 homes on Liver-pool’s former Garden Festival site took three weeks with an additional week extension.


It usually takes a number of months for an inquiry to be convened to give the parties time to prepare their cases and also to coordinate the diaries of the inspector and the leading barristers that will argue the case.


It is anticipated that the legal costs in the case for Everton could be between £1.5m and £2m.


The public inquiry is likely to delay the scheme by around a year, and the cost of steel for the scheme could increase by £15m to £20m, while around £15m could be lost in revenue.


Last night, a spokesman for Tesco said: “We are obviously very disappointed with the decision to call-in the proposals for Kirkby.


“This project would regenerate the town centre, create over 2,000 new jobs in the region, and deliver world- class facilities for Everton.


“In times of growing economic uncertainty, the case for this regeneration project has never been so clear, and it is viable only because it is a single, comprehensive development combining the stadium, retail and leisure.


“We are pressing the Government to fix a date for a public inquiry at the earliest possible time.

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I hope it doesn't take too long to sort this mess out whatever the outcome.


I have expressed my feelings about the Kirkby move before so you all know I am not in favour. However I want the whole thing decided as soon as possible. This has been dragging on far too long in my opinion.

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this is all in theory, but;

a lot of people were against the move for various reasons. a lot of people didnt like the design, the tag "mid-level" that was put in the application.

but if they were to build the same designed "mid level" stadium in liverpool, or even on the current footprint. would it still be just as bad? could save a lot of money in development and design (unless our friends at tesco own them and wouldnt let us)

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Well the Government watchdog CABE ripped the stadium design apart basically saying it was low quality.


The decision made by Everton Football Club to locate their new stadium in Kirkby has the potential to give instant transforming character to the town. With a capacity of 55,000 seats, this will be one of the largest stadiums in Europe. It is our view that this megastructure, located in the centre of the town, must be of first class design quality as well as bringing economic benefit. We feel that a full urban design analysis of the surrounding landscape with long range views, and large scale sections is necessary to properly asses the impact of the stadium not only on its immediate adjacencies of the town and the college but also its impact

on neighbouring towns.


We are concerned that the stadium design is being delivered by a Design and Build contractor. It is our view that Design and Build contracts can produce successful outcomes only when high quality design is embedded in the process; we do not feel that this has been achieved in this case.


We are not convinced by this masterplan that there is a clear understanding of the space required for managing large crowds converging on the stadium. Also, we do not feel that an inspiring sense of arrival, as one would expect to have upon approaching a stadium of this size and significance, has been achieved. This stadium will be a prominent figure in the landscape in all directions, however, the pedestrian approaches to the stadium lack coherence, meandering from the railway station or drifting across car parks. On match days, the continued to operation of all uses appears likely to be controlled by crude boundary treatments.


As a comment on the brief for the stadium at Kirkby, we would welcome further information about the use of this facility on non match days. There is a risk that when not in use for matches, the stadium will be inactive, with a detrimental impact on the public realm around it. We think that, to be a genuine catalyst for regeneration of the town centre, the stadium should be designed to accommodate a variety of uses. These could include links with local schools, use as a music venue, conference facilities or for other sporting activities.


I think they'd end up commissioning a new design.

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The las part of that post louis has me thinking "running track" ohhhhh nooooooo


Do I not like that..


I also think thats all part of the reason for moving too..... making money from other sources ie events, concerts & the like....... Id be against giving all that away for free.....

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It is part of the reason, part of the problem is Knowsley's environmental team have dramatically reduced the chances of concerts going ahead. Note the stadium capacity has been reduced from 55,000 to 50,401 due to transport problems and further reductions could be made at a later date when it goes to the public inquiry. I'm all for a stadium being used as a community pillar (see Doncaster for example) but again I don't understand why they say they'll have open days and events for local schools etc. at Kirkby but never at Goodison. They also want to move Everton in the community project work from Liverpool to Knowsley - recently the Chief Executive of Everton In the Community Graham Lewis resigned (don't know why!).

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