Liverpool FC’s training ground will soon be turned into 160 new homes after the proposition for this transformation was recently given the green light.
The Reds have plans to redevelop their Kirkby academy site, which is where the first team will soon be training, and as such, are selling the Melwood site, which is located in the West Derby area of the city.
Liverpool City Council’s planning committee granted outline planning permission for the scheme, which are controversial to say the least, with over 100 letters of opposition flooding in, while there is also a petition against the plans which currently has 450 signatures.
Liverpool’s first team have been training at the Melwood site since the 1950s, and Stephen Twigg – the West Derby MP – said that he was hugely disappointed with the decision, and is far from alone.
In addition to Mr Twigg, six local councillors also objected to the plans ahead of the planning meeting in question, and concerns have been raised about the developments.
One of them relates to a possible increase in traffic in the area, while there is also fear for how severe the impact on local amenities – such as GP surgeries and schools – will be.
Back in 2001, the then Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier oversaw a significant redevelopment of Melwood, which he would refer to as ‘the bunker’ in a tongue in cheek manner, which turned it into one of the best and most sophisticated training grounds across the planet.
Despite this however, privacy has long been an issue at the site, with keen fans taking ladders, bins, chairs, and just about anything else to allow them to peer over the walls and watch the team train.
An increasing trend within the football world is for teams to move into a complex where training methods are kept secret, while the players can also benefit from training all year round.