Anfield revamp welcomed by Liverpool fans and residents
- 15 October 2012
- From the section Liverpool
Residents and fans say they need to be involved in plans to expand Liverpool's stadium and redevelop the Anfield area.
The joint move, announced by the club and Liverpool City Council, will see capacity rise to 60,000, a number of streets demolished and homes refurbished.
The redeveloped Anfield will be the centrepiece of the council's £175m regeneration project of the L4 area.
A public consultation will be held, with work scheduled to begin in 2014.
Alan Blundell, chair of the Walton Breck Road Residents' Association, who lives on the Skerries Road side of the ground, welcomed the proposals which could see hundreds of Anfield homes renovated.
"As a resident I am very pleased," he said.
But he added that residents on streets including Lothair Road, Alroy Road and Sybil Road, which are due to be cleared, must be kept informed and consulted every step of the way.
"We have got a new school, medical centre, housing; the main thing is we have got to involve the community at all stages," said Mr Blundell.
He also said that any residents who faced Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO) must be offered a fair price for their homes.
"We've had many false dawns before, I'm just hoping now this is the actual one they'll go with.
"The uncertainty has been the problem, it affects the whole area."
It has been 10 years since initial plans were announced to build a new home for the football club on Stanley Park.
Paul Martin of fans' union Spirit of Shankly said supporters always wanted the club to remain at Anfield.
But he added: "There are a lot more details to be ironed out and we will only really believe it when the team is running onto the pitch."
Mr Martin said his group also believe that a "football quarter" should be created around the refurbished ground with bars and places to eat.
The council has secured a £25m grant to regenerate the wider area, alongside social landlord Your Housing.
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said: "What I want is a regenerated Anfield to create employment opportunities and business opportunities for that area."
Liverpool FC managing director Ian Ayre said: "Any final decision depends on home owners being supportive of the proposed stadium extension."
He added: "There's a lot of wounds to heal because the way the residents have been treated over many years has perhaps not been acceptable."
The proposal to expand the current 45,276 capacity stadium is expected to cost the club about £150m with Liverpool committing to building a hotel.
Redevelopment is likely to see extensions to the Main Stand and the Anfield Road end.
A planning application is not expected to be submitted until next summer.