Huskisson, Sandon and Bramley-Moore Docks, Sandhills, 1927
Huskisson, Sandon and Bramley-Moore Docks in action, Sandhills, Liverpool 1927 © Historic England EPW018890 Explore more photos
Huskisson, Sandon and Bramley-Moore Docks in action, Sandhills, Liverpool 1927 © Historic England EPW018890 Explore more photos

Everton FC New Stadium

A Historic England spokesperson said:

“We recognise the Secretary of State’s decision not to call in the proposals for the new Everton Stadium for his own determination. We appreciate that the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has to consider many other factors related to the proposals, alongside heritage, in reaching his decision. As the government’s heritage adviser, we are a statutory consultee on heritage matters and we have provided advice about the Everton stadium on these grounds alone. We understand the strength of feeling for the stadium among many Liverpudlians and respect the process which has led to this decision.” 

Background

Liverpool’s docks are the pride of this incredible city and key to its global significance. They play an important part in the stories of local people and their family heritage.

The docks are an outstanding example of dock design and cargo-handling which influenced ports around the globe. In 1844 five new docks, the Stanley Dock complex, were built in one phase. The Grade II listed Bramley-Moore Dock, the largest of the five docks, was used by the largest steamers of the time and was in use until last year, mostly recently as a dock for the tugs guiding shipping on the Mersey. Its international significance led to its inclusion in the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City World Heritage Site and in the Stanley Dock Conservation Area.

This special character has led the area to be the focus of a number of fantastic heritage regeneration schemes which we have supported, including the Titanic Hotel and the conversion of the Tobacco Warehouse, both formerly derelict warehouses and now destinations in their own right. The water-based heritage of the area will also be continued in the development of the Cruise Liner Terminal and The Isle of Man Ferry Terminal in the docks. These recent improvements to the area, as well as its future potential, are part of the appeal to Everton Football Club to relocate there.

Our advice

A new stadium for Everton Football Club is close to the hearts of its fans and football has long formed part of Liverpool’s identity. We support the need for a state of the art facility that reflects the club’s status and history. We were invited to advise Everton FC and Liverpool City Council on the proposals and in May 2020 we advised that the application should be refused because of the harm it would cause to Bramley-Moore dock and the World Heritage Site.

We have had extensive and productive discussions with the Club about how best to develop the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock and this collaboration has led to a number of positive improvements to the overall design.

We understand the attraction of this exceptional location and appreciate that there is a strong desire to build a new stadium that is sensitive to its surroundings and context. However, our advice stated that the proposal to infill the dock would fundamentally change its historic character as a water-filled basin which so clearly tells the story of the docks and has contributed to its status as a World Heritage Site. We advised that the loss of the water would result in substantial harm to the significance of the Grade II listed Bramley-Moore Dock and cause harm to the World Heritage Site.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Historic England's role in this- why have you had a say?

  • We have a specific role as part of the planning process to provide advice to the local planning authority, in this case Liverpool City Council, on how the historic environment would be impacted by proposals for change. It is for the decision-makers in the planning process to weigh our advice carefully alongside other aspects of the proposals, for example job creation. We do not have a remit to consider aspects of proposals unrelated to the historic environment when providing advice.

What was your view on the sewage works in the neighbouring dock?

  • We raised serious concerns about the sewage works proposal because infilling the dock was proposed and there was a lack of evidence that the infilling was necessary. However, the proposal was carefully considered by the decision-makers who decided the public benefits outweighed the harm.

Why did you agree to other developments in Liverpool such as Liverpool One Centre, Allerton Manor, Mann Island and others?

  • The approval of a development proposal by the Local Planning Authority (the decision maker in the planning process) does not indicate that we have either supported or objected to a proposal. Each application is unique and we deal with them individually. Our advice for each application goes through a very thorough internal process. This advice is then considered by the Local Planning Authority along with many other comments, including from the public, in order for a decision to be reached. 

Why is Bramley-Moore dock important? It has been derelict for years.

  • Bramley-Moore dock isn’t derelict and is still in various uses. It is still used to moor tug boats which play an important role in Liverpool’s port function and the large warehouse on the quayside was recently used as a filming location for a major Hollywood franchise.
  • The docks are an outstanding example of dock design and cargo-handling which influenced ports around the globe. This special character has led the area to be the focus of a number of fantastic heritage regeneration schemes which we have supported, including the Titanic Hotel and the conversion of the Tobacco Warehouse. These recent improvements to the area, as well as its future potential, are part of the appeal to Everton Football Club to relocate there.
  • The loss of the water would result in substantial harm to the significance of the Grade II listed Bramley-Moore Dock and cause harm to the World Heritage Site.

When was the last time you visited the site?

  • Visiting locations is an important part of our work in assessing a planning application’s impact on local heritage. We employ experts local to each region who have deep knowledge of the areas in which they live and work who visited many times since 2017, most recently in February 2020. Our statutory role in the planning process is focussed on heritage impact and it is for the planning authority to consider our advice alongside other evidence to balance all potential benefits and impacts.
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