Page last updated at 17:44 GMT, Thursday, 24 April 2008 18:44 UK

Kirkby MP backs Everton proposal

George Howarth
George Howarth says the plan will "breathe life into Kirkby"

Everton's plans to build a new stadium have been backed by the MP whose constituency the ground would be in.

The 200m Tesco Everton development will see a new supermarket and a 50,000 seater stadium built in Kirkby.

George Howarth, Labour MP for Knowsley North and Sefton East, said the development would "bring real benefits to local people".

He said in a letter to his constituents the plan would breathe life into Kirkby and provide jobs for local people.

Residents have criticised the bid saying the complex is too big and they are worried about match day traffic, the loss of green space and the out-of-town location.

The plan would also involve bulldozing 72 homes.

'Real benefits'

Mr Howarth has previously said not enough was known about the new proposals.

In his letter he said events of the past few weeks have shed some light on the proposals.

Everton ground proposal
The new stadium would seat 50,000 supporters

"Tesco has made a number of commitments that will bring real benefits to local people," he said.

Mr Howarth said one of those commitments was the promise of 700 jobs for local long-term unemployed people.

He also cited the 10m that would be spent on improving roads and junctions and the possibility of a revived Merseytram line.

The regeneration plans also promise a new NHS walk-in centre in Kirkby town centre.

"This proposal represents a once in a generation opportunity to breathe new life into Kirkby town centre," he said.

"Knowsley council has carried out extensive consultations and the most recent planning application reflects the fact that they have listened to what people have said."

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