Everton Football Club’s planning applications for a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock and a community-led legacy project at Goodison Park have been unanimously approved by Liverpool City Council this week.
The decision to grant approval for a new 52,888-capacity waterfront stadium and the outline application for a re-imagined Goodison Park brings both projects a significant step closer – and follows an amended planning application made by the club in September 2020.
Mott MacDonald’s Liverpool-based transport planning team has been advising the club on this major project for the past four years.
A key consideration of both Everton FC as well as the planning authorities was how to ensure the safe and efficient travel of fans to the new stadium. Goodison Park has been home to Everton FC for over 125 years. The new stadium’s proposed site at Liverpool’s North Docks 3km away, not only represents a significant change in supporters’ travel routines but also a transportation challenge given the underdeveloped nature of the area.
To overcome this challenge, the transportation strategy put forward by Mott MacDonald included: match day road closures around the stadium to encourage sustainable travel choices as well as to ensure the safety of fans walking to the stadium, the construction of a fan waiting area at the nearest train station, and the provision of shuttle buses to and from Liverpool city centre and Bootle.
Mott MacDonald worked closely with the City Region’s transport stakeholders: Liverpool City Council, Merseytravel, the police, public transport operators and neighbouring businesses to develop a sustainable match day transport strategy to support the planning application. Collaboration with these stakeholders was key to delivering the transport strategy.
Kevin Blakey, principal transport planner at Mott MacDonald, said: “It has been an honour to work with Everton FC on such an important project for the city of Liverpool and I’m personally delighted with the council’s decision to grant planning. At Mott MacDonald, we work hard to improve tangible social outcomes in all we do. In this instance it was important for us not only to ensure a genuine choice of sustainable travel options, but also to work with supporter groups to make sure that the stadium was accessible and inclusive.”
Everton FC estimates that the stadium project could deliver at least a £1.3bn boost to the economy, create more than 15,000 jobs and attract 1.4m visitors to Liverpool.
Mott MacDonald worked closely alongside stadium architects Pattern Design, landscape designers Planit-IE and planning consultant CBRE - and the club appointed Laing O’Rourke as preferred contractor in February 2020.
Following the city council's approval, the plans have now automatically been referred to the secretary of state for housing communities and local government - standard practice for a development of this size and scale. The government will have an initial 21 days to review the application before reaching a decision.