£ 60million extension to Anfield in Liverpool gets building permit as Reds prepare to increase stadium capacity to 61,000

Proposed redevelopment of Anfield Road stand got green light from Liverpool City Council planning committee

Liverpool have received an official building permit for their £ 60million ($ 85million) redevelopment of Anfield.

The move, which would bring the famous stadium’s capacity to around 61,000, was given the green light on Tuesday after a meeting of the Liverpool City Council planning committee.

The Reds will now look to begin expansion work, with a completion date no earlier than summer 2023.

What’s going to happen ?

The proposed redevelopment, which was postponed for 12 months last April due to the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, will see approximately 7,000 new seats added to an improved Anfield Road stand.

The club released the first images of their proposal in November 2019 before undergoing two rounds of public consultations, the comments of which they said were “very positive.”

They abandoned their original plan, which was to shut down a section of Anfield Road entirely, seeking instead to reroute the road around the new stand. The road would be closed during construction and on game days, but would otherwise allow access for residents and businesses.

The proposed new road, the club stresses, would not encroach on Stanley Park, which is located north of the Anfield Road grandstand, although it would mean that the current Anfield Road fanzone will have to be relocated.

There will be no reduction in capacity during the construction process, with the majority of work continuing behind the Anfield Road grandstand during the regular season, before more intrusive work is carried out in the stadium during the closing of the season.

Under the building permit, Liverpool will also be allowed to host up to six non-sporting events per year at Anfield over the next five years. The club have also indicated that other sporting events, such as American football, rugby league and Gaelic football, could be held on the pitch.

There was opposition to the plans, with Liverpool Green Party leader Tom Crone and Liberal Party leader Steve Radford among those opposed. The Friends of Stanley Park conservation group also opposed, only to have the planning committee vote 6-2 in favor of the project.

What was said?

Liverpool general manager Andy Hughes said: “This is an important step in our journey to attract more fans to Anfield. We underwent a rigorous two-stage public comment period during the planning process for this project and I would like to thank everyone who offered a contribution to this.

“We have been clear from the start that this expansion will be based on our ability to successfully navigate the complex planning landscape; our ability to gain the cooperation of local residents and the community; and our ability to ensure the financial viability of the project.

“During a very unpredictable year, we are looking for certainties to move forward in this project and we still have steps to take to get there. “

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