Page last updated at 20:20 GMT, Monday, 11 August 2008 21:20 UK

Council welcomes Everton inquiry

Everton ground proposal
A public inquiry is due to be held within the next 12 months

A council has welcomed the decision to hold a public inquiry into plans for a new Everton football stadium and Tesco superstore on Merseyside.

Government officials announced the decision on the 400m Kirkby development last Wednesday.

West Lancashire District Council had objected to the plans over concerns it would impact on its regeneration plans.

The council has multi-million pound plans to revamp nearby Skelmersdale with new shops and bars.

The 50,000-seat Everton stadium proposals are part of the wider regeneration of Kirkby town centre, which is in Liverpool's neighbouring borough of Knowsley.

We see the proposals at Kirkby as being completely out of scale
Councillor Adrian Owens

Although season ticket holders narrowly voted in favour of the move, the decision to move out of Liverpool has split fans' opinion.

Residents of Kirkby have also expressed opposition to the development, claiming it is simply "too big" for the area.

But Councillor Adrian Owens, West Lancashire District Council's portfolio holder for regeneration, said: "The council has worked hard with its partners to produce realistic and commercially viable proposals that will see a lasting regeneration of Skelmersdale town centre with the environmental, economic and social benefits that it will bring not only to the town, but to the district as a whole.

"We see the proposals at Kirkby as being completely out of scale, and likely to prejudice the success not only of the Skelmersdale regeneration scheme but also the retail vitality of other sub-regional centres."

The public inquiry into the Everton Tesco development is expected to take place within the next 12 months.

New Everton stadium faces inquiry
06 Aug 08 |  Merseyside
Council backs town revamp scheme
20 Jun 08 |  Lancashire
Councils called to oppose stadium
06 May 08 |  Merseyside
Residents shown new Everton plans
30 Apr 08 |  Merseyside
Gran in Tesco boss planning war
12 Apr 08 |  Merseyside


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