PLANS to demolish a row of derelict houses next to Liverpool FC’s Anfield stadium and build a new hotel appear to have made it easier for the Reds to expand their current home.
The latest blueprints for the regeneration of housing in the Anfield area show houses on one side of Lothair Road – directly behind the stadium’s Main Stand – earmarked for demolition.
But homes on the other side and properties behind them were highlighted as proposed for “refurbishment” and/or “change of use”.
Housing association Your Housing – formerly Arena – which owns many of the properties in the area has been working on plans for a new hotel.
Sources familiar with the proposals said they would see the fronts of a number of houses in Anfield Road, Alroy Road, Rockfield Road and one side of Lothair Road kept as they are.
But the space behind the would be redeveloped for a hotel and possible training centre.
The scheme – yet to be officially confirmed – is the strongest indication yet that Liverpool may decide to expand on their current site, rather than move to a new stadium in Stanley Park.
A problem the club would have faced if it wished to expand outwards and upwards would have been that residential properties have their right to suitable levels of natural light protected by law.
But commercial properties – such as hotels – are not afforded that same protection.
Cllr Ann O’Byrne, the council’s cabinet member for housing, said the £6m scheme to redevelop housing in Anfield would ensure the area and its residents’ quality of life was improved regardless of the Reds.
She added: “At long last, we are in a position to give residents in the Rockfield area some certainty about the future. They have been concerned about the lack of progress and we have made it a priority to come up with a scheme which ends years of doubt.