EVERTON FC today hit out at city council leaders after losing an inquiry into the building of homes on its former training ground.
The decision will result in the loss of up to £10m from the Sale
which was due to part-fund the club’s proposed move to Kirkby.
Although the loss will not impact on the proposed move – the club will now find the cash elsewhere – the board of directors and chairman Bill Kenwright are furious at the decision.
The inquiry upheld Liverpool council’s decision to block the club’s plans to build 74 large family homes on the Bellefield site in West Derby.
Councillors on the planning committee had rejected the proposals even though the city’s assistant chief planning officer, Mike Burchnall, recommended the scheme for approval.
Sources within Everton believe privately this was Liverpool council’s way of punishing the club for planning to leave the city.
Today Everton’s acting chief executive Robert Elstone said: “The truly disappointing aspect of this is that the politicians who run this city went against the recommendations of the city council's own planning experts
“In such circumstances you have to ask, why that is. What is the point in employing experienced and learned experts if you are simply going to ignore their advice?
“Over the past few years we have constantly shown a willingness to work with Liverpool city council to safeguard the long-term future of our football club. Sadly, it does not appear to be a reciprocal arrangement.
The council's own senior planning officer threw his weight behind this project – he believes it to be suitable and sensible, and so do we. THE ECHO