Historic England has requested for the Bramley-Moore Dock stadium project to be reviewed by secretary of state. The organisation recommends for the application to be denied approval overall, unless the decision-maker concludes benefits outweigh the harm.
Historic England, the governmental body tasked with protection of historical heritage, has officially asked for the Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium to be denied approval, requesting it to be called in for governmental review by the secretary of state.
Such course of action was anticipated by Everton FC, as expressed in the club's recent update on the project's progress. Although Historic England was involved in months-long talks and has succeeded in introducing numerous changes in the design to limit its impact on the UNESCO World Heritage listed docklands, the organisation still has serious objections against it. As it turns out, the alterations were rather meaningless since Historic England eventually weighed in on the entire project being too invasive.
Historic England said: “We consider that the proposal to infill the dock... would result in substantial harm to the significance of the grade two-listed Bramley-Moore Dock and cause harm to the World Heritage Site.
“Due to the impact of the proposals, we regrettably think that this application should be determined by the Secretary of State and will ask for it to be called in for his determination.”
Historic England also said the application should be refused “unless the decision-maker concludes that the public benefits would outweigh the damage to Bramley-Moore Dock and the harm to the World Heritage Site”.
Opposition from Historic England isn't the end for the Bramley-Moore Dock stadium dream. However, should the scheme be indeed called in for review, this could extend proceedings by months, making the early 2021 groundbreaking not viable any more.
That said, the appeal by Historic England might not be prove consequential, especially as the transformative benefits of the Everton project would come in the post COVID-19 period, when the economy is in dire need of a boost. The stadium vision has already been included in the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority recovery plan.