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Louis

Grosvenor Not Happy With Potential Everton Stadium Site

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LIVERPOOL council officials yesterday launched a month-long study into the viability of a site for a new Everton FC stadium that will keep the club within the city boundaries.

 

It appears the so-called trumpet site off Scotland Road is now first choice for the city as it seeks to provide a Plan B for Everton fans who yesterday were sent their ballot papers over the proposed move to Knowsley.

 

But the Daily Post can reveal that any development on the site will face tough opposition from city centre businesses, including the £1bn Paradise Street development.

 

They will attempt to veto any significant commercial development that could pose a threat to the economical viability of the city centre retail core.

 

Liverpool City Council and the owners of the trumpet-loop site, Bestway, have embarked on a series of technical and commercial studies to explore the viability of a stadium development at the Scotland Road site.

 

A joint statement from the council and Bestway said both sides had established professional teams to progress the studies, and both believe that this key landmark site could be a real alternative to the Kirkby option currently being considered by Everton fans.

 

Bestway head of property Malcolm Carter said: “We have been encouraged by our meetings with the city council’s team of senior executives and their determination to put all their energies and efforts behind the project.

 

“We are equally committed to supporting this exciting opportunity for Everton Football Club and the communities of North Liverpool.

 

“Our initial studies have established that a first-class stadium will fit on our site and we are confident that the wider area could accommodate a level of supporting commercial development.”

 

Mr Carter also reiterated Bestway’s continuing commitment to its growing business in North Liverpool and to its staff and customers.

 

It is anticipated that the first phase studies will be completed within the next four to six weeks.

 

The statement continued: “Liverpool City Council and Bestway fully acknowledge and respect Everton’s need to resolve their future and deliver a new stadium worthy of a leading European club. Both parties are committed to working constructively with the club to progress the Loop Site option in the coming weeks.”

 

Liverpool council leader Cllr Warren Bradley, a keen Everton supporter, said: “Clearly we will need to work closely with Everton Football Club to convince the club that a genuine alternative to the Knowsley move can be delivered within the city of Liverpool and in the heart of Everton itself. Bill Kenwright, fans like myself and everyone associated with Everton all want the best for this great club, and I believe this is potentially the best site available.”

 

Campaigners fighting to keep Everton within the city, rather than move to a new home in Kirkby, have earmarked the land surrounding the Wallasey tunnel approach road as their favoured option, along with a possible redevelopment of Goodison Park..

 

Coun Bradley has also set his sights on the Bestway land as one of his top options to ensure the city continues as home of the Blues.

 

But sources in the city centre retail world say a new stadium would only stack up if it was allied to significant commercial developments, embracing retail and leisure.

 

The prospect of up to 500,000 sq ft of commercial schemes within walking distance of the city centre would generate tough opposition from the big retailers and businesses.

 

It would also face opposition from Grosvenor who are investing £1bn on Europe’s biggest retail scheme in the heart of the city.

 

The blow for the trumpet site comes as KEIOC, Keep Everton in Our City, campaigners outlined the site as a key alternative to the Kirkby move.

 

Last night, Ed Oliver, deputy chairman of Liverpool Chamber of Commerce said: “A large commercial scheme so close to the retail and business heart of the city would almost certainly face opposition. I personally do not think it will come to that because I am sure there will be little demand for retail space on the fringe of the city when there is so much commercial activity in the city centre.

 

“Whilst I agree with the general opinion that Everton should try to stay within Liverpool I do not see the trumpet site as a viable option, because it will probably not work economically and even if it was progressed forward there would be concerns and opposition raised from existing city centre businesses.”

 

The issue of peripheral commercial development around the fringes of the city centre were raised by Grosvenor during the planning stages of their own Paradise Street scheme.

 

In the past the city council itself has raised concerns about larger schemes because of the potential impact they could have on the viability of the city centre.

 

Everton FC yesterday sent out ballot papers to fans who are being given the final say on the proposed move to Kirkby where a new stadium would be built alongside a Tesco superstore.

 

Sources close to the club believe the Bestway announcement is a desperate attempt by Warren Bradley to undermine the Kirkby ballot.

 

The club is expected, within 48 hours, to produce conclusive reasons why it believes the Bestway site will be ruled out of the Everton equation. (incidentally Bestway will be revealing their plans within the next 24 hours.. - louis).

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So Grosvenor would much prefer 30,000 plus fans (possibly 50,000) every fortnight to bypass the city and go to Kirkby??

 

Surely retail would relish having those potential customers.

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So Grosvenor would much prefer 30,000 plus fans (possibly 50,000) every fortnight to bypass the city and go to Kirkby??

 

Surely retail would relish having those potential customers.

 

Their point is that the customers would visit the retail site at the ground at the expense of theirs. They don't want local competition and would be a fuck of a site harder to ignore than a few disgruntled Kirkby residents.

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Their point is that the customers would visit the retail site at the ground at the expense of theirs. They don't want local competition and would be a fuck of a site harder to ignore than a few disgruntled Kirkby residents.

 

Perhaps it will be healthy competition. Its not like its directly next door or opposite. its a short hike.

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On friday i had a pint in the Head of Steam on Lime St Station, walked at a casual pace and was on the Bestway site in 17 minutes, so i think from anywhere in the City Centre you could be at the Ground in about 20 to 25 mins walking.

 

Most peeps from out of town would get a bus into town and have a few pints and lunch before the game, anybody arriving on trains would be right in the City Centre, so i cant even see that becoming an issue.

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