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Housing minister demands action on Liverpool stadium plans

Housing minister Grant Shapps has written to Liverpool Football Club demanding a quick decision on plans for the club’s future home

Writing to the club’s managing director Ian Ayre, the minister said the future regeneration of Anfield - one of Liverpool’s most deprived communities - rests on whether the Premiership side plans to resurrect the long-stalled plans to build a new ground in nearby Stanley Park, or to redevelop its iconic Anfield ground.

Shapps said a new or redeveloped stadium would bring significant regeneration benefits in an area of high deprivation, including new homes, schools and a health centre.

He added: ‘On my visit last month I saw for myself the impact that the decision yet to be taken by Liverpool Football Club will have on the area, and how much the local people in Anfield need certainty and a definite decision on the future of their neighbourhood.

‘The council has already asked for extra time for the lease on Stanley Park by six months to allow the club time to explore all options, but the quicker Liverpool FC makes a decision, the more options they have. It’s down to them not to score an own goal by delaying a decision on the club’s future home once more and ensure the council never has to walk alone in their attempts to regenerate the local area.’

Last month Liverpool’s chief executive Ian Ayre admitted that land and property acquisition, environmental and statutory issues had created ‘barriers’ to the project at the club’s famous home.

Both AFL and HKS have planning permission for schemes to build a stadium for the club, however neither know which scheme will proceed.

HKS was brought onto the project in 2007 to replace AFL, but the latter practice was encouraged to submit plans after HKS’s proposal came in £50 million over budget.

Earlier this year Ian Ritchie Architects with Sports Stadia unveiled speculative proposals for a project to redevelop Liverpool’s Anfield site.

Previous story (AJ 11.07.11)

Anfield redevelopment ‘unlikely’ says Liverpool FC

A statement issued by the club explained that land and property acquisition, environmental and statutory issues had created ‘barriers’ to the project at the club’s famous home.

In the statement Ayre said: ‘It looks increasingly unlikely there is any way we can move forward on a refurbishment of Anfield.’

The announcement comes as the future of a plan to build an alternative new home at nearby Stanley Park remains unclear.

Both AFL and HKS have planning permission for schemes to build a stadium for the club there however neither know which scheme will proceed.

HKS was brought onto the project in 2007 to replace AFL, but the latter practice was encouraged to submit plans after HKS’s proposal came in £50 million over budget.

Earlier this year Ian Ritchie Architects with Sports Stadia unveiled specualtive proposals for a project to redevelop Liverpool’s Anfield site.

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