Belfast Telegraph

Reds' Anfield plans get go-ahead

Liverpool have won planning permission from the city's council to start redeveloping Anfield.

It emerged last week that the club's proposals to expand their stadium had been recommended for approval by Liverpool council planners.

A vote was taken on the scheme on Tuesday after elected members of the planning committee visited Anfield, with the Reds being given the green light to proceed with phase one of the project - the extension of the Main Stand.

In phase two, the Anfield Road stand would be increased, with the project as a whole taking the capacity from around 45,000 to around 58,800.

The resolution from members of Liverpool City Council's Planning Committee to grant planning permission, subject to conditions and legal agreement, was unanimous.

Construction work on the proposed Main Stand - during which matches will continue to be played at Anfield - is expected to begin early next year and be complete in time for the 2016-17 season.

A statement on Liverpool's official website on Tuesday read: "Liverpool FC's proposed stadium expansion plans took another important step today.

"Liverpool City Council's Planning Committee resolved to grant planning permission for the expansion of the club's Main Stand and for outline proposals to expand the Anfield Road Stand.

"The redevelopment of the Main Stand could add an additional 8,500 seats, taking its capacity to nearly 21,000 and overall Anfield capacity to around 54,000.

"The outline proposals for the Anfield Road Stand provide for an increase in its capacity of around 4,800 seats."

The statement also said: "Incorporating the iconic club crest into the proposed Main Stand's exterior elevation, the scheme will also include a two-storey podium and a carefully designed area which will become the new home for the Hillsborough Memorial."

Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre said: "Today's approval by the Planning Committee is another step on our journey which we embarked on nearly two years ago.

"We received very positive support for our proposals during a public consultation exercise earlier this year and whilst we are delighted about the progress made today, there are still some steps that we need to navigate through in order to give us the certainty that we need to proceed with our expansion plans."

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, said: "This is a very important milestone in our ambitions to transform the Anfield area, bringing new jobs, investment and housing.

"The overall regeneration will see £260million invested in Anfield. Liverpool Football Club's proposals for the stadium are a key part of this. The club is a major employer in the area and its stadium is a major draw for tourists and visitors."

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