Liverpool hope to submit plans to redevelop Anfield before the end of the season and complete work on an expanded Main Stand before 2018, according to the latest regeneration proposal for the area.
A document entitled the Anfield Spatial Regeneration Framework (SRF) was released on Thursday, giving more details on Liverpool's stadium scheme, plus the city council's attempt to improve housing and job prospects in Anfield. The SRF will be considered by the council on 7 February and, if the draft is approved, a four-week public consultation will take place before it can be officially adopted by the council in April.
Liverpool intend to apply for planning permission to expand the Main Stand and Anfield Road Stand, although the city council has still to acquire four houses – owned by two people – that would need to be demolished as part of the plan. Deals have been agreed for 67 of the 71 properties affected by the stadium plans and compulsory purchase orders could be served on the remaining four houses by the end of February. CPOs, however, are considered a last resort and could potentially cause a delay of at least 12 months.
While Liverpool will seek planning permission to expand two sides of Anfield, the SRF draft mentions that "subject to residents' support and planning approval, the club would wish to expand its Main Stand, followed by potential redevelopment of its Anfield Road stand".
The club would initially focus on a complex expansion of its Main Stand before deciding on the viability of following suit at the Anfield Road end. While no designs are included in the SRF, it is understood Liverpool intend to build "up and over" the existing Main Stand, partially demolish the existing structure, and finally join the old and new stands together.
It is projected there will be no reduction in Anfield's matchday capacity while work is under way. "The stadium is expected to be a landmark not only for the Anfield area but representing the Liverpool city on a global stage," the SRF reads. "Therefore the highest quality of design is required."
The SRF also reveals plans for a "96 Avenue" in honour of those who died at Hillsborough. The "wide, high-quality" avenue would run behind the new Main Stand between Stanley Park and Walton Breck Road and "would be a major focal point for the area". Liverpool have held discussions about a possible relocation of the Hillsborough Memorial with representatives of the families. The Memorial may have to be moved during construction work and the aim, according to the SRF, is to have "an area of quiet contemplation and reflection for the Hillsborough Memorial".