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Last Updated: Friday, 27 July 2007, 09:27 GMT 10:27 UK
Majority support for stadium plan
Everton's proposed new ground
Everton's proposed new ground will be built in Kirkby
The majority of people living near the proposed site of Everton's new stadium are in favour of the plan, a poll says.

A survey of more than 500 residents in Kirkby, Merseyside, found 51% in favour of the stadium plans, 33% were against and the rest undecided.

The 150m ground is part of wider town redevelopment proposals which include shops, a hotel and a Tesco superstore.

A ballot is to be conducted among about 33,000 Everton fans to find out if they are prepared to move to the stadium.

The survey was commissioned by local MP George Howarth to ensure that the concerns of his constituents were heard.

It found that 96% of people are aware of the stadium aspect, while 89% are aware of the Tesco superstore.

I don't think it's appropriate we have a 55,000 seater football stadium in the middle of a town
Ian Morris, residents' group

Of those questioned, more were in support of the Tesco development (75%) which is tied to the stadium plan.

Financing of the stadium will be helped by 50m from the supermarket giant.

"The poll shows there is majority support for the proposals among local people," said Mr Howarth.

"It is an amber light from the community, with the possibility of a green light if the developers can demonstrate they have credible solutions on match-day transport, car parking and anti-social behaviour.

"My major outstanding concern is for those who live close to the development, particularly those people whose homes are directly affected.

"It is critical that they are listened to and their legitimate concerns are properly addressed."

Stadium concerns

Local concerns have been highlighted by the Kirkby Residents Action Group (KRAG).

Spokesman Ian Morris believes Knowsley Council is wrong to support the Tesco and Everton-led regeneration of the town centre.

"I don't think it's appropriate we have a 55,000-seater football stadium in the middle of a town, in a residential area that is going to take away a lot of the open green space that the community use themselves," he said.

"I think the people of Kirkby are being sold this - or blackmailed into this - by saying it's the only option available to redevelop Kirkby."

Residents of Kirkby support stadium plans

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