???️ LIVERPOOL TAKE SIGNIFICANT STEP IN MOVE FROM MELWOOD

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Liverpool have submitted a planning application for the redevelopment of the club’s first-team training ground at Melwood for housing as part of the next step of its relocation to Kirkby, after plans were approved following a public consultation on 8th March at Northwood Community Centre. Liverpool have submitted a planning application for the redevelopment of the club’s first-team training ground at Melwood for housing as part of the next step of its relocation to Kirkby, after plans were approved following a public consultation on 8th March at Northwood Community Centre.The Anfield club are proposing to sell the historic Melwood facility in the West Derby area of the city, where the first team has trained since the 1950s, with club chiefs seeing this as an important part of financing the project itself. The site in West Derby will be ideal for high quality family homes, mirroring Everton’s decision to sell their former training base, Bellefield when they left for their new training facility at Finch Farm in 2007, which was redeveloped in a similar vain. The Reds have reportedly asked to build 160 family homes on the land in a document submitted to Liverpool City Council which applies for outline planning permission for the development with the Reds pleased to announce their compliance with Liverpool Council who are aiming to build new family homes in the area to keep with the demand in a bid to make the transition as seamless as possible. Former Reds boss Gerard Houllier oversaw a major redevelopment in 2001 at Melwood, which he jokingly christened “the bunker”, and turned it into one of the most sophisticated training grounds in the world. However, privacy has long been an issue at Melwood, with people using ladders, chairs, bins and other objects to peer over the walls to watch training, with suspicions arising during the early months of Jurgen Klopp’s reign that tactics had been leaked to press. The £50m project – a joint enterprise between the club and Knowsley Council – will move training to the Kirkby site. The club have applied for outline planning permission for up to 160 new homes on the site with plans already well advanced to move Jurgen Klopp’s squad to a revamped site where the academy is currently based. The 5 time European champions will purchase 14 acres of land at Simonswood Playing Fields at the rear of the Academy in Kirkby in order to expand the size of the current site to around 60 acres, with the plans drawn up by London-based architects KSS, who designed Anfield’s acclaimed new Main Stand. The existing Academy buildings at Kirkby are set to remain and be refurbished with the first-team training centre built nearby. The facilities will include a new covered artificial pitch, a pool and hydrotherapy complex, gymnasium and specialist sports rehabilitation suites. “LFC recognizes that Melwood has played a significant role in the club’s history but the site is limited in terms of space and is unable to accommodate the club’s ambitions for a new first-class combined training facility,” said a statement by the club. This was echoed by Andy Hughes, the club’s chief operating officer, speaking in Febuary to the Liverpool Echo who said bringing the first team and young players together in one location was a “really exciting proposition”. He asserted the new “state-of-the-art facilities” would help the development of players, and designs to convert the main pitch into an indoor site would provide all-weather training. Plans to create new pitches would also bring “substantial improvements” for the local community and support amateur football teams, such as Kirkby AFC. “We recognise that Melwood has played a significant role in the club’s success and forms an important part of our history,” he said, conceding “Melwood is limited in space and is unable to accommodate our longer term ambitions, which is why we are exploring options on the academy site” as he attempted to allay any concerns supporters may have regarding parting with a piece of history that has been part of Liverpool folklore since the 1950s. Local residents will be regularly updated on the progress of the development and talks remain ongoing with the conversation between residents and the club high on the agenda. Fans are invited to voice their opinions at a drop-in session which will take place on Monday July 17 at West Derby Golf Club from 3pm as the Anfield club look to involve as many residents and fans in the conversation as possible in what undeniably represents a significant step in Liverpool’s recent history.
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