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Blears to have final say on new Liverpool stadium

Communities Secretary Hazel Blears is to have the final say on Liverpool FC's plans for a new stadium today (6 November).

Designed by Texas-based HKS, the 60,000-seat ground is likely to be given the green light later today; however, due to the significance of the scheme, Blears can decide whether she wants to call in the plans for a full public inquiry.

It will be the second time the stadium will be put in front of government, after former deputy prime minister John Prescott had the final say on the previous plans.

But planning approval for that project was torn up and then-architect Atherden Fuller Leng’s designs scrapped following the arrival of Liverpool FC’s new owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks.

A department for communities and local government spokesman said: ‘As this project has more than just local importance, the council is required to put it forward to government to make the final decision. It’s very standard practice.’

The council’s planning decision comes just over a week after it was revealed the new stadium costs had risen by £150 million. Hicks and Gillett are currently seeking a £500 million financial package to cover any further costs.

If Blears does not call the project in, it will pave the way for work to start on site by next March.

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