West Derby MP, Stephen Twigg, is calling on Liverpool Football Club to scrap proposed plans to leave their Melwood training centre in a £50m move to a site in Kirkby.
Liverpool are planning to combine their first team training centre and academy football training operations in one location as part of an overhaul by the club’s owners, Fenway Sports Group.
The Reds have been at the current Melwood site in West Derby since the 1950s.
However, MP Twigg, alongside the West Derby Society, has expressed deep concerns. He said: “I was disappointed to read the initial proposals for the Melwood site and very much hope that Liverpool FC will reconsider this plan. I urge all affected local residents to contribute to the consultation raising their concerns – I will certainly be doing so.”
He added: “Liverpool FC have been a welcome and reassuring presence in West Derby for generations – it would be a real shame for that relationship to end.”
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The Labour MP also has reservations about the ability of the West Derby streets to deal with the extra traffic created by the proposed housing developments that could take the place of the current Melwood site.
The West Derby Society echoes Mr Twigg’s position on the planned housing development. Society Chairman Stephen Guy told JMU Journalism: “We have major issues with the club’s plan to sell Melwood site for building land as we don’t need any more housing in West Derby. The estimated 160 homes on around 10 acres would be just too much for the area to deal with.”
Mr Guy added: “The congestion in the area is a long-term problem that has spanned decades that doesn’t need to be exacerbated, so I will take up this issue with the club when we have our planned phone conversation on the process.”
Liverpool’s Chief Financial Officer, Andy Hughes, said: “We recognise that Melwood has played a significant role in the club’s success and forms an important part of our history. However, the Melwood site is limited in space and is unable to accommodate our longer-term ambitions, which is why we are exploring options on the Academy site.”
Club officials are yet to submit a formal application to Liverpool City Council, but they are accepting public feedback on their proposed plans until March 22nd via this link.