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Kirkby - 35 Sites Analysed

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Just for historical purposes :) These are the alternative sites looked at by the club's advisers with their reasons prior to deciding on Kirkby. Some have been put there simply for the sake of it and there was never any chance of it going ahead (in my opinion, of course! ;) )


Site 1- Existing Anfield Stadium Site


This site is physically too small to be redeveloped as a modern football stadium as is acknowledged by the fact that LFC is planning to relocate to a new stadium at nearby Stanley Park. Many of the problems that affect Goodison Park also apply to this stadium, and to relocate here would not achieve the type or profile of new stadium EFC aspires to. Furthermore the ground will be redeveloped for alternative uses when LFC relocates to Stanley Park. In any case until such time as LFC's new stadium is built the ground is in use by LFC.


Site 2 - Atlantic & Netherton Industrial Estate


This site is a Strategic Employment site within Sefton (forms) part of the Atlantic Gateway Strategic investment Area. The Council has stated its opposition to a Stadium development here (source: Robert Turley Associates), and the site has recent permission for development as an employment park, which landowners are actively pursuing. The fact that the LPA is opposed to the site and it is being progressed for another form of development, suggests it cannot be considered suitable or available for a stadium.


Site 3 - Central Docks


This site is located north of Liverpool City Centre and has been indentifies as a potential site for a stadium, given that such a use is seen to have potential to aid the regeneration of this brownfield site. A stadium development would be appropriate in terms of the general suitability of the site, and a development area could be created within the site. However, previous planning permissions and policy designations (E6, M3 (part), M54, M65 (part) and M77) suggest that the site has greater potential (and value) for residential, business / employment, leisure and retail uses, although such uses might have some potential to provide a cross subsidy for a new stadium. The key issue however, is the fact that the site is now owned by Peel Holdings and it has confirmed that it wishes to pursue a vision for an ambitious 'Manhattan Style' development at the site which would be incompatible with a new stadium given its site requirements. Accordingly the site is considered unsuitable and unavailable.


Site 4 – Former Dunlop Site


This site is a brownfield site within the defined urban area of the south eastern part of the City. It would require substantial access improvements. As the site is close to Liverpool Airport, there is the potential for objections to be made regarding the suitability of such a use on health and safety grounds although this has not been confirmed. Furthermore, the location of the site confirms its potential to assist in the planned expansion of the airport, which indeed the site is identified for. Overall, the site cannot be regarded as being suitable and is potentially unavailable.


Site 5 - Dunnings Bridge Road


This is a large currently vacant / cleared site that formerly was in use as a refinery ('Peerless Refinery'). The site's size is probably too small for the type of stadium EFC aspires to as its general profile. It is also allocated for employment uses, and seen to be best suited for such uses. It is therefore unsuitable for stadium development.


Site 6 - Everton Park


This is a major urban park close to the heart of the City. It is protected by a matrix of planning policies and other designations against inappropriate development. The park also slopes upwards quite significantly (west to east), which significantly limits its potential in feasibility. There are also residential uses around part of the site, which whilst not ruling out a new stadium, would create challenges for accommodating such a use. Overall, due to its policy designation and topographical and other constraints the site is not considered suitable for such a use.


Site 7 - Garden Festival Park


This is a major site in south eastern Liverpool which was originally used to house the Liverpool Garden Festival. Part of the site is backfilled land having previously been a tip. It is subject to several planning policies including policies which designate it as green space. These limit the potential of the site for such a development but do not rule it out. The key issue is the fat that the site was the subject of a planning application for housing in 2006 (1,374 units). The application was supported by LCC and then recovered by SoS, but was subsequently granted following a public local inquiry. Notwithstanding current economic conditions which are hindering housebuilding, it is our understanding that the site will be brought forward for housing in future. The development represents a strategic scheme in the context of the delivery of new housing in Liverpool. The site is considered unavailable, unsuitable and unviable.


Site 8 - Garston Docks


This site is a 109ha area in use as an operational port (Associated British Ports), nature reserve, and part is allocated for and has permission for new housing (Redrow Homes). A combination of the new housing, nature conservation area and constraints through the operational port means that there is no land available for a stadium. The site is therefore unsuitable and unavailable.


Site 9 - Gillmoss 1A


This site is an important employment land allocation north of the East Lancashire Road (A580) in north east Liverpool. It forms part of a Strategic investment Area and is adjacent to the developing Stonebridge Business Park (DPP successfully promoted this development on behalf of LLDC). The site has been either developed or is land to be held back to accommodate expansion needs of businesses. The location is heavily dependant on private car for access, although it is served by some public transport services and could potentially benefit from Merseytram. Previous discussions with LCC on the employment proposals suggest that a new stadium here would be strongly resisted. It is therefore considered unsuitable for a stadium and in any case is unavailable.


Site 10 - Gillmoss 1B


The northern part of the site as originally identified through the original and subsequent LFC assessments has been developed for housing (confirmed through the assessment by Robert Turley Associates, 2007). Employment uses are planned to the south and permission for such development was granted to St. Modwen Developments in 2006. Other parts of the site are in use as a waste transfer station. There is no developable area for a stadium, and the current and surrounding area would constrain such a use. Access and public transport factors are as Gillmoss 1A.


Site 11 - John Moss / MTL


This has always been seen by LCC as a strategically important site given its location south of Edge Lane, the main avenue of entry into the City. It has a long development proposal history, including attempts to have it allocated for retail, which failed. The site is owned by NWDA and is actively being pursued as an employment area as an extension to Wavertree Technology Park, as part of a larger regeneration initiative on Edge Lane (by LLDC), which DPP had been advising on. LCC has repeatedly confirmed that it would resisted a stadium (and retail) at the site, and this was confirmed through the LFC assessment (Turley's, 2007). Accordingly, the site is considered unavailable as well as unsuitable.


Site 12 - Kings Dock


This site was recently the subject of an ambitious development proposal to create a major events arena, conference centre, hotel and associated development. The arena and many of the other developments are now complete and further phases are planned to commence in future. The site has previously been considered for a 55,000 seat stadium for EFC, but the scheme floundered in late 2002, primarily due to insurmountable financial hurdles. The site is not suitable or available.


Site 13 - Prescot Road


This site is a 37ha brownfield site located east of the city centre on the northern side of Prescot Road. It is allocated for industry. The site is large but in many ways is constrained. Key constraints include ground contamination, multiple ownership and highway capacity (source: Turley's, 2007). Indeed land condition and multiple ownership is a significant barrier to English Partnerships taking on this strategic investment site. Accordingly the site is considered unavailable (in a realistic timeframe) and unsuitable in terms of highway capacity to accommodate a stadium.


Site 14 - Land at Speke Boulevard


This site comprises the existing New Mersey Retail Park, industrial units, and vacant / cleared land (circa.13 ha) formally in use for car storage. The latter area is potentially suitable for a stadium and the site has good public transport links. Various planning permissions have been granted on parts of the site, which limit its potential, but do not completely rule it out. However, the site is currently being considered by its current owners, Benmore Developments, which DPP is advising on, for a major mixed use development of which the predominate use would be employment. No proviso is made for a new stadium nor could one be accommodated. As such, the site is unsuitable and unavailable.


Site 15 - Speke Northern Airfield


This site originally formed part of the operational element of Liverpool Airport, but it is now being developed out as Liverpool International Business Park. A key central site has been developed, as has the Dakota complex to the northern of the site. Owners, Peel Holdings, have confirmed that the site is unavailable for a stadium given its plans to complete the build out of the business park (source: Turley's 2007). Irrespective of this, the residual site area remains capable of accommodating a stadium. This part of the overall site however, would not provide adequate profile for a flagship stadium due to the existing development and access configuration. A further hurdle is planning policy as this is, as stated above, is an important, strategic employment site in close proximity to the airport, and a stadium would fail to capture the economic advantages of the airport and remove limited land resource in the area for such uses. Overall the site is unavailable, unviable for EFC and ultimately unsuitable for a stadium.


Site 16 - Stanley Dock


This site is irregularly shaped and probably too small (at around 5 ha) to accommodate the type of stadium EFC is looking for. The key issue however is one of heritage and conservation legislation and policy, as the site includes a number of large important listed buildings. It is highly unlikely that listed building consent would be granted to demolish them. In addition, development could not take place until the existing dock is filled in, which would also require listed building consent. Overall, the site is unsuitable.


Site 17 - Stanley Park


This has planning permission for a new 60,000 seat stadium for LFC (2006) with recently approved plans for a revised scheme (2008). The site, subject to the agreed compensatory package for improvements to Stanley Park (Listed) and redevelopment of the existing Anfield Stadium, is suitable for a stadium development. However, as EFC and LFC have ruled out any ground showing, the site is unavailable for EFC.


Site 18 - Walton Hall Park


This site is an urban park within which there is a planning policy presumption against development, although this can be overcome as the LFC proposals at Stanley Park illustrate. The site however, given existing uses and other constraints, is not considered suitable. It should also be noted that The Football Association operates 'Liverpool Soccer Centre' from the site, and the land is owned by LCC. It is considered that the impact on the park and soccer facilities could not be adequately mitigated against, making a stadium development unviable. The site is also unavailable.


Site 19 - Wavertree Playground


This site is owned by LCC and is in use as a park. It is also protected by relevant green space policies. No physical development constraints for a stadium were identified, although accessibility is uncertain, and the site would not be considered suitable unless compensatory facilities could be provided. The potential impact on the Wavertree Village Conservation Area (land to the east) is a further constraint. It is known that LCC would resist the development of a stadium here due to the site's allocation and profile. Overall the site is considered unsuitable for development.


Site 20 - Bestway Site


This a small, isolated site extending to just 3.9ha. It is effectively surrounded by the A59 Scotland Road and Queensway Tunnel access roads. As such the site is unsuitable in terms of size. Access could potentially be improved, but this would be at great cost (as it would be necessary to effectively bridge the tunnel approaches). Overall, due to the small size and highly constrained nature of the site, the site is not considered suitable.


Site 21 - Edge Lane Retail Park


This an existing retail park with a mix of tenures and tenants. DPP historically advised LLDC on the Edge Lane Regeneration Initiative, including in connection with proposals to improve the layout and general profile of the Retail Park and related sites. Highway capacity along Edge Lane was referred to as a potential constraint (source: Turley's, 2007), but the key issue is the lack of a suitable site for a new stadium. I addition, the owners of the site, advised by DPP are in the process of promoting proposals to improve the Retail Park and develop complementary leisure uses, health care uses, open space, employment and residential uses (a development framework is being prepared for this). Accordingly the site is considered unavailable and unsuitable.


Site 22 - Aintree Retail Park / Long Lane Industrial Estate


There are two identified areas within the wider industrial (commercial / retail) area along Long Lane that could be considered to offer potential (west and eastern sides). Both sites are physically capable of forming a developable area for a stadium, although this would require complete redevelopment. Aintree Retail Park is considered more suitable due to site configuration and flexibility, and the eastern site is in uses for offices and other purposes (owned and operated by LCC). Accessibility issues and conflict with adjacent users exist for both sites, but potentially could be mitigated through design and improvements. Planning policy / allocation of both sites is also unhelpful (allocated for industry). A further constraint on the retail park site is multiple tenures. Overall, the land is unavailable, and current use value (in particular retail) militates against a stadium redevelopment.


Site 23 - Stonebridge Cross


This site is located to the south of the A580 East Lancashire Road. It comprises areas of existing housing (some now cleared), clearance land, and a former school / playing fields. The land was previously being promoted by LLDC and developer David McClean Homes in Joint Venture with Tesco, advised by DPP, for a major regeneration initiatives comprising a new district centre, new community uses, new housing and access improvements. The district centre was to have been anchored by a new Tesco foodstore, which Tesco was actively pursuing. The retail elements have subsequently fallen away as a consequence of LCC's decision to strengthen an existing district centre rather than allocate a new one. There were difficulties associated with reaching agreement on the housing elements, and in connection with other elements of the overall proposals. The initiative, not helped by the credit crunch, is effectively on hold. It is known however, that LCC would not support a new stadium in this location, and this has previously been expressed to DPP. The site is therefore unsuitable and unavailable for stadium development.


Site 24 - Stanley Market


This site at 7.8ha in area is large enough to accommodate a stadium, but it is constrained in other ways, including irregular boundaries and proximity to residential to the south and west. Access is constrained and traffic related impacts would be a problem given that the site is accessed off Edge Lane and Prescot Road. Previously DPP reviewed the LLDC sponsored Gillespies Masterplan that was used to support the Edge Lane Regeneration Initiative and confirmed that the site was best suited to a mixed use development where the predominate use would be offices. There is potential that this will for the basis of the LDF proposals for the site. The site is not considered suitable.


Site 25 - Calderstones Park


This a large public park. The 12.1ha area selected is situated in the southern end of the park. The area is capable of accommodating a stadium, and it is considered reasonably accessible as a location. However, the nature conservation interest of the site, historic parkland setting, protected trees, and LCC ownership suggest the site is unsuitable and unavailable.


Site 26 - Sefton Park


This park is an important part of the urban fabric of south eastern Liverpool, and is designated as the Sefton Park Conservation Area. The identified area considers one of the more open areas of the park, but nevertheless it is of intrinsic value to the quality of the park. It is considered that not only would LCC be unwilling to make the site available, but that the impact on the Conservation Area and listed Historic Park (Grade II*) could not be mitigated. The site is therefore unsuitable and unavailable.


Site 27 - Newsham Park


This park located on the northern side of Prescot Road, east of the City Centre. It falls within the Newsham Park Conservation Area. The area identified to have potential, in the southern part of the park, extends to 10.5 ha, but is irregularly shaped, adjacent to residential properties on two sides, and affected by protected trees, reducing the net developable area. Owned by LCC it is considered the site is unlikely to be made available, and in any case the Conservation Area, nature of conservation policies, site configuration and proximity to residential make the park unsuitable for a stadium.


Site 28 - Sparrow Hall Playing Fields


The playing fields are potentially suitable in terms of size and configuration to accommodate a stadium. However, accessibility is through residential areas. The site is owned by LCC and forms part of designated Countryside (Policy OE8) and greenspace (OE11 & OE12). Replacement pitches would need to be provided. LCC has previously confirmed that it would be opposed to development on this land, including a new stadium. As such it is considered the site is unavailable for development, valued as it is for its current openness and informal recreation value. It is also seen to have good links with Fazakerley Ecology Park to the north.


Site 29 - Northshore


This an extensive area of dockland, associated industrial and warehousing uses, north of the city centre (over 150 ha). The area is constrained by the configuration of existing docks and accesses to them, and existing uses and buildings, several of which are listed structures. The mix of land ownership, tenure, uses and plot configurations militates against forming a coherent site for a stadium that would provide a suitable environment for a modern, flagship sports stadium, and access for non-car modes of transport. Accordingly it is considered no suitable site can be configured that can be made available and viable for a stadium.


Site 30 - Land off Speke Boulevard


This site is situated east of the Jaguar car plant and was formerly used for car storage and distribution. The site is allocated for employment use and in close proximity to the strategic highway network (A561). However, accessibility by non-car modes is limited, running counter to the requirements of EFC. A designated Site of Biological Importance places a further constraint on the developable area. The site is considered unsuitable for a stadium by reason of its peripheral location, poor accessibility and proximity to the Jaguar car plant.


Site 31 – Huyton Business Park


This site is a developed strategic business park, which has little potential for the development of stadium due to the lack of available sites. Given the strategic nature of the allocation, the loss of the land from employment uses to an alternative use like a new stadium would be resisted. Accordingly, the site is regarded as being unsuitable and unavailable.


Site 32 - Kirkby Stadium


This is the site of the now cleared former Kirkby Stadium. It previously comprised in door sports facilities, an outdoor velodrome and athletics track and associated car park and access. It is situated on the northern side of Valley Road (A506) south west of the town centre. It is adjacent to the M57 junction (with Valley Road). Accordingly, road access is very good. However, whilst the site is probably just large enough (7.9ha), the configuration of the site would make it difficult to accommodate a stadium, it is at the lower end of site search and the net developable area, and would be constrained by homes to the north and the motorway / highway corridor to south and west. The site is allocated as an opportunity site and was always seen as being most suitable for new residential, possibly with some commercial uses like offices. It is owned by the Council and available for development. Overall the site has some potential, but this is not considered to be sufficiently strong to justify such a development initiative.


Site 33 - Knowsley Industrial Estate


This area of land, 536 ha, is located to the east of Kirkby, and takes in Knowsley Business Park to the south. Access from the strategic highway network is excellent (A580 and A5208 and it is close to M57). Formation of a suitable area for a stadium is constrained by current land uses and plots. Two areas are identified. To the north of A5208 along the eastern boundary is a suitably sized area. However, this is constrained by woodland / nature conservation designations. North of the A580 is a second site, but this is constrained by access and high voltage power lines, which would involving significant cost to divert. Therefore it is considered there are no suitable or viable sites within the area, irrespective of availability which could be constrained through mix of ownerships and tenures.


Site 34 - Aintree Racecourse


This site is included in the search as it is an existing major sporting venue and land holding. However, the undeveloped parts of the site area located within the Green Belt. Sites within the Green Belt have generally been excluded from the search as it is necessary to prove very special circumstances for non-policy compliant developments, a policy quest that is felt would difficult to achieve when there is an identified site within an urban area. Irrespective of the Green Belt designation, the site is also considered unavailable and unviable due to the operational requirements of the racecourse and conflicts a football stadium would have with racing.


Site 35 - Land South of Kirkby Town Centre


This site is located south of Kirkby town centre. The land is designated as urban greenspace and some of this is in use for sport. Other parts form part of an allocated action area which supports development of town centre uses. It should be noted that part of the urban greenspace is a school and so would attract the status of previously developed land and another part was formerly a tip, later backfilled and landscaped. There may be potential to provide replacement pitches off site. The site would also be directly adjacent to the new Kirkby Leisure Centre, which would crate synergies between the town uses. There are some residential properties around the site, which could be affected, but careful design and other mitigation arrangements should enable a satisfactory layout to be created. Kirkby Brook is also close by and might need to be realigned. The site is highly accessible, being close to the heart of the town centre and a railway station. The site has a good profile and would meet EFC's expectations for a new stadium. Importantly, the development of the site as part of a wider regeneration initiative would contribute significantly to the regeneration of Kirkby Town Centre. The land is mainly owned by the Council.


Map - http://inquiry.knows...TEV_A1_app3.pdf

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