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CABE refuses to support Liverpool FC’s stadium bid

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CABE has refused to back Liverpool Football Club’s planning application for its new stadium scheme

CABE has refused to back Liverpool Football Club’s planning application for its new stadium scheme.

Although supporting the general idea of RyderHKS Architects’ proposals, the design watchdog says the practice needs to illustrate ‘more clarity’ in the architecture of the stadium.

The news will come as a bitter blow to the club, which had hoped to start work on the project, located in Liverpool’s Stanley Park, as soon as possible.

The club had been granted planning permission for a previous scheme designed by north-west based Atherden Fuller Leng Architects, but this was dropped following the arrival of Liverpool’s new owners, US billionaires George Gillett and Tom Hicks.

The CABE report states: ‘We warmly welcome the club’s intention with the local authority to jointly manage the historic park, and we fully support the integration of community sports facilities around the stadium itself; although, there is more to be done to generate a more elegant transition between the building and the park.’

RyderHKS had sold the idea of the stadium around the new Kop stand, which would project the voices of the supporters across the playing surface. It was described as a ‘traditional asymmetric’ design, with the Kop stand dominating the scheme.

However, CABE remains unconvinced by the realisation of this idea, claiming the ‘power of the diagram has yet to be carried through with the same clarity into the architecture’.

The report adds: ‘We are disappointed that at this stage the design does not successfully achieve a cohesive and graceful architectural response to the generating idea relating to the Kop.

‘For the reasons stated above,’ the report concludes, ‘we do not believe the proposals should be granted planning permission until these issues are addressed.’

At the time of writing, RyderHKS was unavailable for comment. For the full CABE design review, visit www.cabe.org.uk

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