Liverpool submit planning application to expand Anfield stadium

Artist's impression of the new Anfield stadium Image copyright Liverpool FC
Image caption The plans could eventually see the stadium's capacity increase to almost 59,000

Liverpool's plans to expand Anfield have moved a step closer with the club submitting a formal planning application.

The £100m project would see a third tier added to the Main Stand, raising the ground's capacity to about 54,000.

A second phase could later redevelop the Anfield Road Stand, further increasing the capacity to 58,800.

If permission is granted, work on the Main Stand could be completed in time for the 2016/17 season.

The application follows a large public consultation and will be considered by the Liverpool City Council's planning committee later this year.

Image copyright Liverpool FC
Image caption The plans would create an expanded concourse area outside the ground and a new home for the Hillsborough Memorial

A statement from the club said an "overwhelming majority of local residents, businesses and fans" had backed the proposals.

The project would also create a huge outdoor concourse area, a new club shop, and a specially-designed cloister to house the Hillsborough Memorial.

Local residents raised concerns about any expansion in 2012 because it would involve the demolition of some houses near the ground.

In April, the club said discussions with local property owners were "progressing well" and all parties are close to agreement but added details were still to be finalised.

'Thriving community'

Chief Executive Ian Ayre said: "When we set out on the journey to explore the feasibility of expanding the stadium, we said the process would be determined by certainty.

"Certainty that we have the support from local residents and businesses for our proposed plans, that we can acquire the land required and that we can navigate the planning landscape.

"We have worked closely with the community, local residents, Liverpool City Council and Your Housing Group and we are delighted to be able to bring forward a planning application at this stage."

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: "The proposed redevelopment of the stadium is a hugely important part of our vision for Anfield - to create a thriving community in which people want to live, work and visit."

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