Everton Football Club recognises the importance of heritage for the city of Liverpool and wants to protect and enhance it.
Liverpool’s World Heritage Site covers six areas of the city, including countless buildings and structures. It is focused on the city’s waterfront and its historic docks which, with its transatlantic advantage, dominated world trade in the 19th and early 20th centuries. As well as the docks, the World Heritage Site focuses on Liverpool’s historic commercial centre which grew prosperous through the huge activity generated by trade through the city’s maritime gateway.
World Heritage status
Our proposed stadium location lies within the World Heritage Site and we are working closely with Liverpool City Council and other stakeholders, including Historic England, to assess the impact of the proposals on the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site and ensure the design of the stadium responds to the characteristics of its location as it develops.
Liverpool’s World Heritage Site covers six areas of the city, including countless buildings and other structures, and is partly focused on the city’s waterfront as well as the historic commercial centre. In addition, Liverpool was also awarded the title UNESCO City of Music in 2015 in recognition of its outstanding contribution to global music over the last 50 years.
We believe the Club has tremendous cultural significance to the city and the development has the potential to contribute positively to the UNESCO status. At present access to this part of the World Heritage Site is restricted and the new stadium will bring the site back into more productive use and open the area up so the public can appreciate its heritage.
One of the main heritage concerns relates to infilling of the dock. The surviving dock water spaces are key attributes of the World Heritage Site and fundamental to its Outstanding Universal Value. To secure planning permission it will be necessary to demonstrate that the benefits of the development outweigh any harm to the site’s heritage value.
Liverpool has always been a dynamic and creative city and has a long history of imaginatively reusing abandoned docks and giving them a new lease of life. Examples of which include ‘The Three Graces’ which stand on what was once the 18th century George’s Dock and Liverpool ONE which uses land which saw parts of Liverpool’s Old Dock filled in.Our proposal follows this tradition and has been carefully designed to respect the site’s historic location.
As part of the planning application, we will be demonstrating that there are no alternative sites which could accommodate the stadium proposals. Liverpool City Council, when reviewing the planning application, will need to consider this, alongside the heritage impact of the development and weigh this against the public benefits. This decision-making process is set out in the planning regulations and the national planning policy, which requires local authorities to consider whether substantial public benefits associated with a development outweigh the anticipated harm to heritage assets.
The Hydraulic Tower
We are looking to restore the historic Hydraulic Tower to create a unique visitor attraction which could attract tourists on non-matchday.
The tower, which was built in 1883, is situated in what would be the north eastern corner of the Fan Plaza. The Club is investigating a range of possible uses for the tower, such as a heritage centre to tell the story of Liverpool’s docks or a museum dedicated to the history of Everton.
The Stadium design
The current design of the stadium, with its brick base, is to be in keeping with the dockland setting, taking inspiration from the warehouse buildings of the 19th century, including the nearby Stanley Dock complex. The design of the stadium will reflect its historic setting.
The proposed new car park would be built from the same type of materials as the stadium.
Retaining historic features
Across all the public spaces, we would look to preserve historic features where possible. For instance, the tracks of the old rail lines could be restored and then re-laid. Original features such as old gratings, paving and cobble stones, bollards, mooring posts, capstones and granite steps could also be retained, restored and included as part of the overall development.
Building on the dock
Our proposals would necessitate the dredging and infilling of Bramley-Moore Dock itself. We are currently proposing to infill the dock using an established method which includes a combination of sand and gravel.
Innovative engineering would ensure the dock structure is protected, preserved and, where appropriate, exposed so that visitors can see it.
Should the stadium ever move away from Bramley-Moore Dock in the distant future, the dock could be restored because of the preservation work done in the construction process.
We propose to:
- Repair and restore the dock walls to prevent any further deterioration
- Limit the number of new penetrations or drilling into the dock walls (e.g. for drainage pipes)
- Expose the existing dock wall in certain parts of the development
- Keep ground levels close to existing historic ground levels to retain the character of the area
The stadium structure would be supported by concrete plates which would rest on piles driven into the sandstone which sits beneath the Northern Docks area. This means the actual dock walls would be protected from the weight of the stadium structure and would remain unharmed.
The docks are visually interconnected, which is a key feature of the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site; however, boats cannot currently travel from Bramley-Moore Dock through to adjacent docks. As part of the proposed development a water channel would be maintained to the west of the stadium to ensure the visual continuity of the dock system, with the historic dock wall on the western side of the channel exposed. A footbridge is proposed to connect the new car park to the stadium.