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Sunday, March 9, 2008

Forecasting the Kirkby Planning Application


Many supporters have recently contacted KEIOC under the mistaken belief that the Tesco application is about to fail due to the unprecedented level of objections, over 3,000, and the undeniable divergence from local, regional and national planning policy. Perhaps with another authority this could well be the case but we are dealing here with a single party dominated council that consistently believes, despite indications to the contrary, that it knows what's best for its residents; it knows what businesses are best for Kirkby residents and it knows which land is sold off in the best interests of those residents. The following article has been compiled by KEIOC with the help of our contact within the KMBC planning department, it represents a possible outcome that could be adopted.

Kirkby PlanKEIOC understands that for the casual observer the planning process is a complicated issue and, quite rightly, for fans the teams' recent fantastic performances against SK Brann, Manchester City, Portsmouth and hopefully Fiorentina take precedence over boring planning procedure and legislation.

Yet this process could seal the fate, future direction and prospective success of our great club for decades to come.

KEIOC, since its inception nearly twelve months ago, have steadfastly maintained the position that the Kirkby project fails one of Everton's key tests, specifically it's undeliverable, primarily due to the sheer size of the retail element that Tesco are attempting to force on a town of 42,000 residents.

Without this retail element, which offers the enabling money that is so desperately needed by the board, the only alternative for Everton is to significantly raise its level of financial contribution, this, KEIOC believes, will now be in the region of £100,000,000 a figure that was forecast by KEIOC during the 2007 ballot when Everton were quoting figures of £15,000,000 and Terry Leahy was quoting £35,000,000.

If the true cost to Everton of this proposed stadium in Kirkby was known would the 2,386 people who enabled Everton to claim a mandate really have voted yes?

How many of those 2,386 fans would have preferred Bill Kenwright to sit down with the eminent architect Trevor Skempton to discuss tangible development ideas for Goodison Park?

How many of those 2,386 people would have voted yes if they knew and understood the true potential of the Scotland Road site, endorsed by Liverpool City Council and the world renowned stadia designers HOK Sport, yet castigated in the local media by the Chief Executive Officers of Everton and Tesco and a traffic consultant working on the Kirkby project?

How many more fans would have decided against Kirkby if they had known of the existence of an alternative plan within the city that had the backing of one of the UK's largest retailers yet was ignored by Everton and was prevented from being disclosed to the fans in August 2007 when a leading figure in this sorry saga asked for confidentiality and a press embargo?

The above revelation sounds incredible but its entirely true and we shall be releasing full details on our re-launched website next week.

Why those responsible at the club decided to enter into an exclusivity agreement on an undeliverable project that, to the detriment of the club, prevented proper investigation of these alternatives is scandalous but no more so than being in full possession of comprehensive financial information prior to the ballot process during which the fans were given details that could be described at best as vague.

This is far from over, KEIOC will continue to present accurate information to the fans on the Kirkby project, prospective sites within the city and offer the residents of Kirkby our full support in their quest to secure fitting redevelopment of their town centre.

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