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 Post subject: ENQUIRY WEEK 5 - DAYS 17-20
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:16 pm 
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Day 17 – Stadium noise levels below 75dBA.
Mrs. Burden, sitting with Mr. Andrew Pykett, re-opened the inquiry after the Christmas break. Mr. James Powlson of WSP Acoustics, the applicants expert on the impact of noise on the environment, presented his report and was then cross examined by the opponents representatives.

Mr Rupert Warren, Tesco’s Counsel, led Mr Powlson through his evidence. Mr. Powlson explained, “The calculations on noise were based on receptors in and around Whinberry Drive and were based on worst case scenarios, such as the busiest construction periods and capacity crowds at the stadium during a football match.” He explained that the noise during construction would be “minor to moderate” and temporary, relating to the busiest construction periods and actually during football matches, indicating a noise level to be below 75 dBA.

Mr Powlson explained to the inquiry that the stadium would not be in use for the majority of the year. Everton are hoping for something different in their quest to obtain additional non-football income.

Mr Pykett, an inquiry inspector, asked why the assessment at a football stadium was taken at Goodison, during last season’s Portsmouth game, a 40,000 seat stadium, rather than a 50,000 seat stadium. The inspector’s questions revealed that local residents would hear the match even when TV’s or radio’s were on.
Mr Powlson was unable to explain why, in relation to acceptable sound levels, the level of 75dBA had been used, not the recommended 70 dBA limit for rural area, suburban and quiet urban areas.

The Grange residents were informed that the North side of their estate would be most affected by the demolition. Noise measurements had not been taken inside any of the properties and the potential sound from the stadium wouldn’t escape from the corners of the ground as the back of the stands will act as an acoustic barrier.

When asked why no base line survey had been done at a quiet Goodison Park, for comparison, Mr. Powlson, again couldn't provide an answer.

Mrs. Burden asked if a match and delivery were occurring at the same time, would you hear both, or just the loudest? Mr Powlson replied that the loudest would dominate. Trying to establish concerns over night-time deliveries, the Grange informed Mr. Powlson, after he said there would be no HGVs but there might be some LGVs, that it would be up to the residents to enforce this policy.

The Kirkby Residents Action Group, represented by Pauline Pendleton, asked Mr. Powlson how the construction work, expected to take several years, could be classified as temporary? Mr. Powlson explained that whilst he agreed the project had a long construction phase there was a definite start and completion so could be regarded as temporary.

Pauline closed by enquiring about the possible compaction of the land that the stadium was to be built on; Mr. Powlson, in line with all other witnesses for the applicants, explained that he could not confirm anything about the possible compaction or how loud it would be.

 Post subject: Re: ENQUIRY WEEK 4 - DAYS 17-20
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:19 pm 
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Thursday, January 8, 2009
Day 18 – Definitely Maybe – read it and weep.
Mr. Joe Ellis, the applicants expert on Transport, was led through his evidence by Mr Rupert Warren, counsel for Tesco. Mr Ellis confirmed that he was a football fan, supporting West Ham, and that he had spent quite some time travelling on public transport before writing his report.

Mr. Ellis explained that the transport assessment was made up of three travel plans, which turned assumptions into assessment. Knowsley believe the Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) is enforceable.

He explained Kirkby’s current modes of public transport, rail and bus that are used heavily for journeys to and from Liverpool. He explained that the area also had quite a few taxis, that the road system was good as was Kirkby’s proximity to the motorway system. It was his opinion that the rail and bus system could cope with the proposed development; he also explained that there had been considerable liaison with Merseytravel, The Highways agency and Knowsley Council. Merseytravel and Merseyrail have said they will add extra carriages on the rail system that will pay for itself through the extra passengers.

Asked if the town could cope with the extra traffic, as Kirkby Row gets very congested, he said that congestion is relative and most areas are congested at peak times. Spectators walk fast when they leave a stadium and the M57 works very well.

Mrs. Burden asked how the park and walk scheme will operate and was told it was on a first come, first served basis. Mrs. Burden was concerned about people driving around Kirkby looking for spaces to park. Mr. Ellis said that although there would be limited signage, they would make people aware of what to do via the press and the web site. The park and walk sites will be privately run.

Mrs. Burden continued to question Mr. Ellis, she asked about the possible introduction of stadium capping if the available transport proves inadequate. She was told that the Section106 agreement, a series of conditions, would enforce this and that rail improvements would be in place before the stadium opened.

When asked about KEIOC's evidence (transport 8.1), Mr. Ellis stated that 'great', not little, consideration has been given to the residents but workers will have to travel with fans, that's the nature of football.

Inspector Andrew Pykett asked, “How can the transport plan ensure more people use public transport than their car, in accordance with Government policy?” Mr Ellis explained that the Section 106 agreement would carry the proviso that if car use is not brought down from 72% to 55%, then the stadium capacity will be capped at 40,000. Mr. Ellis was asked if other football clubs had tried this he explained “No, no other club in the country had tried this, it was “trailblazing” and went on to explain that fans will have to accept things that are acceptable to London commuters and that he was surprised at how many supporters drive to Goodison, yet the city centre is only a 35 minutes walk away.

Mrs Burden asked Mr Rupert Warren for clarification on what transport provisions were conditional on the development going ahead and how the amount of public transport use afterwards would be monitored? Mr Warren explained “travel plans for the stadium on event and non event days must be in place before the stadium can begin operating, along with the improvements to the railway station to enable it to cope with 3,800 extra passengers, or an alternative public transport put in place, such as extra buses. There must also be a contribution from the applicants towards the setting up of the controlled parking zone.”

Mr Warren continued “While the stadium is operating, the travel plans must be implemented and a further payment made at the end of each season towards the administration costs of the controlled parking zone. By the end of the third season the stadium transport measures must be implemented or the agreed share of public transport use by fans achieved, in order to avoid the amount of people able to use the stadium being reduced from 50,000 to 40,000 as a penalty, imposed by Knowsley Council.”

Not surprisingly the question surrounding Everton’s commitment to a move to Kirkby with this potential penalty hanging over them is begging to be asked.

Mr. Stephen Sauvain, QC for Liverpool City Council, began his cross-examination. Mr Sauvain wanted to know who was going to pay for the CPZ and was informed by Mr. Ellis that it was to be paid for by fines. Knowsley, currently, has no power at the moment to enforce a CPZ as yet and would have to apply for decriminalization, as CPZ’s require traffic regulation orders.

Mr Sauvain then moved on to the transport provision for shoppers travelling to Kirkby from surrounding areas once the development was complete. He suggested that the calculations on trips incurred by the local population and to where, were based on flawed calculations. Mr Sauvain referred to them as nonsense figures and informed Mr. Ellis that he couldn't do basic calculations. Mr Ellis agreed that the calculations included assumptions but refused to accept that they were nonsense.

Jim Gittins then took over the cross-examination of the witness on behalf of the Kirkby Residents Action Group, Jim Gittins was informed that the Highways Agency and Merseytravel has supported the transport plan and that the Police became involved over a year ago in discussions about the stadium and crowd management. Jim asked why Fazakerley station was mentioned. Mr. Ellis replied that there’s potential there, for people to get off earlier and go for a pint or catch a bus into Kirkby. In answer to a question over the trains Mr. Ellis confirmed that contingency plans would be put in place for cup games and night games but conceded that upgrades to the line couldn't be considered in the short term as it would have to be a Government scheme and Kirkby is only a small town of 40,000.

Asked about drivers looking for park and walk sites within Kirkby, Mr. Ellis replied that people will become accustomed to where they can and cannot park. There will be 1,500 potential spaces in the town, excluding the schools and that he was confident that those choosing to travel by rail would get a train but they wouldn’t be over encouraging train use due to the line being limited physically to 4,000 passengers per hour, there would be extra trains put on if a game went to added time. The Wigan line would be opened up for Manchester fans, and perhaps Wigan fans. It would be up to the station operations manager to control this.

When Jim asked about enforcing the CPZ, Mr.Ellis was confident that wardens would get to know the cars and that neighbours would tell on neighbours.

Mr. Dave Thompson then took over the cross-examination for the Keep Everton in The City Campaign. Dave began by asking Mr. Ellis when he became involved in the project and if he was aware that Mr. Keith Wyness, the former CEO of Everton Football Club, had described the stadium project as the best served stadium in the North West? Mr. Ellis explained that he had been involved on the project since September 2006 and that whilst he was aware of Mr. Wyness’s statement he declined to agree, he preferred the phrase “most sustainable in the North West” instead. Mrs. Burden interjected when Dave attempted to establish if Everton’s supporters had been misled during the ballot process over this statement. Assessment

Dave continued, “Haven’t you assessed how people would like to travel, rather than how you would prefer them to travel? “ Mr. Ellis conceded that the Transport Assessment was a redefined package, in that it was made to fit a pre-conceived end result, as far as the trains went, but the Transport Assessment was arrived at using different modes and applying restraints. He also agreed that there were differences between inclination and ability relating to how people chose to travel.

Dave then asked about the differences between Goodison Park’s location and Kirkby. Mr. Ellis, while agreeing the housing was different, Goodison is densely packed with housing, he described the Kirkby stadium as being in the town as opposed to Goodison, which is not in the town, or at least not in the centre of Liverpool. Dave pointed out that it only took 35 minutes to walk from Goodison to the city centre whilst you couldn't do that from Kirkby. Mr. Ellis pointed out that you couldn't walk to the Wirral from Goodison Park but there were season ticket holders there. He continued top explain that Goodison’s transport structure had problems, although it does work, it needed to get it car modal share down.

Dave continued, “Why have Everton supporters not been asked directly how they would get to Kirkby, even though there had been a recent, detailed, survey on the Everton website, asking for fans views on Goodison Park; why not Kirkby?” Mr. Ellis explained that a survey was carried out at Goodison Park to see how people currently travelled there but that this did not form part of the assessment for Kirkby. He explained that a supporters transport group had recently been set up at Everton to address transport issues. KEIOC understand that this is made up of six fans from Shropshire, Birmingham, Cumbria, Kirkby and Liverpool and that it has not been set up to address issues as by Everton’s own admission it is toothless, it was set up after the transport representative from SDG was savaged at the recent EGM. Mr. Ellis conceded that “the new stadium would initially mean more travel for EFC fans but that might change over time as people adjusted their travel behaviour and the transport strategy came into effect, making their journeys easier.“

In response to questions regarding improvements to the plan Mr. Ellis explained that Merseytravel was considering putting up a canopy over the platform to protect fans in bad weather but the car park, the holding pens, would be open to the elements. Mr. Ellis then said “However, in his experience, football fans were prepared to be cold and wet - its just part of going to the game” Member’s of KEIOC were left speechless at this statement.

A disbelieving Dave Thompson regained his composure and went on to question Mr. Ellis as to why he’d used a figure of 85% when estimating the amount of people wishing to travel immediately after the game? Mr Ellis explained that he’d based it on the Emirates, with some leaving early because of transport issues. He accepted that there had to be flexibility within the transport strategy but didn't know how many people were still around Goodison an hour after the final whistle. Dave then asked if Kirkby would involve more or less travel for fans? Mr. Ellis agreed that there would be more travel but in time, the demographics would change. Asked how attendances would increase if people were put off by the transport plans, Ellis stated that it was the objective of the working group to challenge those attitudes, public transport is cheap and easy and the quality is improving. Mr Ellis said this had been a concern of Everton and that was why the plan adopted a pragmatic stance that Everton had found acceptable. He stated, “There had to be a carrot and stick approach to arranging how people travelled.” And went on to say “there might be some problems initially but, overall, the experience at the Kirkby stadium would be greater than at Goodison Park.”

Responding to Dave’s questions surrounding trains Mr. Ellis suggested that if demand was great, train length (6 cars) could increase for 90 minutes post match. Mr Ellis failed to mention th at each additional train would add 15 minutes to each 1,000 supporters queuing time. Mr. Ellis continued to explain Merseyrail have accepted this and people will get to Central Station at the same time as they would if coming from Goodison Park. When Dave informed Mr. Ellis that standing in the open air, queuing when it's raining, after walking for half an hour in the rain, would put people off attending, Mr. Ellis stated that families will use the Park and Ride and Park and Walk and that blue badge holders could park nearer the stadium. Asked about Headbolt Lane and the fact that if it opens, it would increase waiting and departure/arrival time at Kirkby, Mr. Ellis replied that Headbolt lane is only being considered as potential. He agreed that rail provision was better for Goodison Park than Kirkby.

Moving to Bus transport, Mr. Ellis explained that buses would be coming from a wide area. Although Merseytravel have audited the exercise, there have been meetings with them and it had been established that they do not want major disruption to their network. Dave then asked, “Why does KEIOC’s information from Stagecoach and Arriva fail to correspond with that presented in the transport assessment?” Mr. Ellis suggested that it could be because it was always difficult to get through to the right people, but then admitted that the SDG information, with regard to whom had buses, had been gleaned from websites.

Dave next turned his attention to the operation at the bus station, ”252 buses to leave in one hour? That requires each bus to leave every 14.5 seconds. Is that possible or even realistic?” Mr. Ellis replied that he thought it was and that the traffic signals would give buses priority. Valley Rd. would be closed. This would assist buses and pedestrians. Dave questioned this consistency but was told it could happen in an hour, it would be a very controlled area. Dave also pointed out that a saw tooth design would hinder fast ingress and egress but was told it would be marginal. Mr. Ellis explained that they didn't want to make it too difficult for supporters. Dave asked if Evertonians will have to get used to queueing but Mr. Ellis replied that they were trying to make sure that those queues weren't too long. He did not deny that there would be queues where there weren't any at the moment. He continued “away supporters would probably make their own way to the Kirkby ground but the Police would probably be involved in the movement of those fans which might involve putting them onto coaches from Liverpool city centre, there would be temporary toilet facilities at Westvale bus park on matchdays and there would be a new building with improved toilets on the railway station”

In relation to the CPZ, Dave pointed out that people can park 360 degrees around Goodison but Kirkby does not have that potential. Mr. Ellis suggested that businesses such as Dairycrest might open up their car parks on match days. He also said that the taxi businesses in Kirkby were in favour of the project and had been very supportive of the plans. They are expected to meet demand.

Finally Dave enquired about the access roads around Kirkby compared with those around Goodison. Mr. Ellis agreed it was a technical challenge and the coach and bus park routes would be the busiest.

Mrs. Burden closed the inquiry for the day; the ordeal for Mr. Ellis will resume tomorrow.

 Post subject: Re: ENQUIRY WEEK 4 - DAYS 17-20
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:20 pm 
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Monday, January 12, 2009
Day 19 - “Future treatment of Evertonian’s laid bare.”
The cross examination of Mr. Joe Ellis, the applicants transport expert, continued with Mr. Stephen Harrison, a resident of Kirkby, asking questions surrounding traffic management around the proposed development.

Stephen was told that two new sets of traffic lights would be introduced; at Bewley Drive and Valley Road and Junction 6 of the M57. Mr. Ellis didn't accept that this was a busy junction at the moment, that it didn’t provide traffic chaos and didn't require a roundabout, somewhat surprisingly, he felt that even at peak times the traffic flowed extremely well.

Stephen asked Mr. Ellis if he thought that roundabouts at motorway junctions were faster than lights, especially for dispersal. Mr. Ellis believed they were but lights would be needed to control the junction at Kirkby Row; Mr. Ellis that the pavement will not be widened for the entire length here, only partly.

Mr Ellis agreed with Stephen that the findings of a survey of fans travelling to Goodison Park confirmed that around 70 per cent travelled to the ground by car, explaning that the target at Kirkby would be to get no more than around 55 per cent of fans travelling by this car. Mr. Ellis continued with an explanation that most of the public transport on matchdays would be in addition to the usual services and that the concerns over train loading had been resoved following meetings with transport authorities. He explained that whilst the trains would be busy on matchdays they would be operating at safe levels and this had been confirmed by Merseytravel. Mr. Ellis confirmed that SDG had not spoken to Network Rail, only Merseytravel. When asked if there was any guarantee that Merseyrail would rip the timetable apart and start again for the stadium, he replied that 'there is no guarantee of anything in life'.

It is clear that the limited capacity on the rail system to Kirkby has led to the applicants playing down the use of trains as a method of transport for supporters travelling to the proposed stadium; referring to the national fans survey, Stephen asked if 10% of train users could be absorbed to which Mr. Ellis explained that he felt that an additional 25% could be absorbed. Mr. Ellis couldn’t comment when asked what would happen if one train was cancelled. Moving on to the tricky subject of levels of passenger loading on trains Stephen asked Mr. Ellis to explain, “crush loading” but was told it was a matter of debate. It was established that it would be like Aintree when the Grand National was on - above the national standard but agreed to by the operator. When Stephen asked if additional loading of five people over the limit was dangerous Mr. Ellis replied that it was subjective Stephen then asked Mr. Ellis to confirm which would be the best mode of transport from Walton to Kirkby; Mr. Ellis informed Stephen that he would be better off using a different mode than the train. A puzzled Stephen informed Mr. Ellis that, in his opinion, it would be better and far quicker to take the train than the bus; after some consideration Mr. Ellis conceded the point and confirmed that the train would be better. It would be better if you could actually get on one!

On the subject of buses operated for the park and ride scheme Stephen raised the environmental question; Mr. Ellis explained that the bus companies transporting fans would operate under a contract which would stipulate a standard to ensure the vehicles were as environmentally friendly as possible, but that no assessment had been done on levels of emissions for empty return bus journeys or buses coming from afar, Yorkshire had been mentioned. Mr. Ellis confirmed that people living within the Controlled Parking Zone would receive parking permits free of charge; obviously these people should be extremly grateful.

Mr. Matthew Copeland, counsel for the combined authorities, asked if Knowsley Council would be making a payment to Sefton Council for the operation of the parts of the CPZ in those areas controlled by Sefton - Melling and Waddicar; Mr Ellis said he was not aware of how this would work but presumed there would be cooperation between the authorities.

Mr. John Barrett introduced Mr. Philip Sapiro to the inquiry; Mr. Sapiro is the applicant’s expert on traffic planning and engineering.

Mr. Sapiro explained to the inquiry that it was not the intention of the council to encourage match traffic into the town so there would be limited opportunities for third parties to operate car parks for park and walk schemes primarily due to a lack of suitable sites, he pointed out that Kirkby was different to the area surrounding Goodison Park which offered many third party sites. Mr. Sapiro confirmed that, as it was council policy not to attract additional traffic to the town, no parking would be allowed on school property.

Demonstrating a sudden urge to comply with national policy Mr. Sapiro confirmed that it was desirable for such developments to ensure that transport arrangements were multi-modal, not just car based, and that the Highways Agency was content with the plans outlined for Destination Kirkby.

Mr. Sapiro conceded that whilst Kirkby residents had excellent access to Liverpool City Centre residents in other areas often have to travel into Liverpool City centre and back out to Kirkby and that this would likely have an impact on the numbers of people who chose to shop at Destination Kirkby. He agreed that car travel was more flexible; that Kirkby had good access to Liverpool by car and that other towns in the area had equally good access to motorway junctions.

On the matter of future transportation Mr. Sapiro explained that although the power to implement a tramline between Kirkby and Liverpool was in place until next year no funding had been secured for this project. He also failed to mention the Liverpool’s priority is transportation issues surrounding travel along the north south axis of the city not west to east.

In closing Mr. Sapiro confirmed that the proposed CPZ around Kirkby would be more extensive than other schemes and that modern signage would enable the scheme to operate when matches are taking place.

Kirkby resident Stephen Harrison was first to cross-examine Mr. Sapiro. Mr. Harrison asked a series of questions that established the level of Carbon Dioxide emissions will increase when the matchday specials were operating and that if the Wigan platform was extended to accommodate six car trains then the same would have to happen at Orrell, Upholland and Rainford unless the trains had selective door opening and presumably passengers wishing to alight at those stations were seated or crush loaded into the first three carriages. They haven’t really thought this out. When Stephen asked Mr. Sapiro how Wigan bound passengers would access the platform when it was full of Liverpool bound passengers he was informed “by careful management” and that the new north side platform at Kirkby station would be used on match days only and the costs were to be met by the applicants and Merseytravel When questioned about the tram Mr. Sapiro could not provide any guarantees saying that it would be a bonus.

Mr. Stephen Sauvain began his cross-examination by asking Mr. Sapiro if the number of people from Kirkby shopping in Liverpool would be reduced if this development went ahead. Mr Sapiro explained that his gut feeling led him to believe that this was true; he felt it was necessary to strike a balance between quantitive and qualitive analysis.

Mr. Sauvain pointed out that to get to Kirkby they, the shoppers, would have to go past other large retail centres. Mr. Sapiro explained that the key thing was that shoppers would make the trip for what was on offer but he agreed that there would “still be greater scope for comparing types of non-food goods and prices in Liverpool City centre.

Mr. Peter Fisher, Knowsley constituency Liberal Democrats, stated there would be unavoidable car usage as there were no direct trains from Prescot or Huyton, from which there were only 4 buses an hour. Such levels are comparable with an out of town Retail Park. Mr Sapiro agreed that there might be an increased number of car journeys with people living outside of Kirkby coming in to shop, but he said this had to be balanced with the large number of Kirkby residents, who currently had to travel some distance to shop, often by car, who would be able to shop locally if the development went ahead. Mr Sapiro went on to say that “the control of car parking and the attractiveness of public transport options were the key elements to controlling the number of people who chose to use their car to get to a particular location”.

Another way of looking at it of course would be to ensure that the size of the development was appropriate for the needs of a town the size of Kirkby, as defined in the UDP, then it wouldn’t encourage people to make additional car journeys or additional journeys into and out of the regional centre as defined by the regional spatial strategy, Liverpool City centre.

Mr. Jim Gittins then cross-examined Mr. Sapiro on behalf of the Kirkby Residents Action Group. When questioned on the ability to increase the capacity at Headbolt Lane Mr. Sapiro advised that while the frequency couldn’t be increased it might be possible, hypothetically, to store an extra train there.

On the issue of 14,000 fans walking along Bewley Drive to the Park and Walk sites, identified in the planning application, Mr. Sapiro said that it would be in the stadium management plan and there would be stewards to supervise the supporters.

Jim asked for further clarification surrounding guarantees that the transport plan would be implemented on time Mr. Sapiro identified clauses within the Section 106 agreement that insisted the crucial elements were in place before the stadium opened for business. Jim immediately responded "The S106 agreements at the Emirates had still not been adhered to, what guarantees are there for this scheme?" Mr. Sapiro explained that the Emirates development was considerably more expensive to carry out and that lessons had been learnt; everything in Kirkby must be in place before the stadium opens, especially the station upgrades.

As these upgrades are primarily for use when there are football stadium is in use, on approximately twenty six occasions a year, Jim asked “Could not making major improvements prior to the development, such as a permanent increase in the rail line’s capacity, be seen as a missed opportunity?” Somewhat surprisingly Mr Sapiro replied “Knowsley Council’s priority is to cater for the needs of its own residents, not to embark on costly measures that would be mainly for the benefit of people outside of the borough.” It may have escaped Mr. Sapiro’s attention but the vast majority of Evertonians live in Liverpool, Wirral and North Wales, not Knowsley, and a retail park 400% bigger than that required to service the needs of the local community is clearly designed to attract shoppers from other major centres.

Mr. Platt was next to ask Mr. Sapiro questions on behalf of KEIOC. He asked how would they ensure that the numbers of people travelling by car to the stadium would be controlled. Mr Sapiro explained that there were various measures being considered to control the number of people coming into the town by car to visit the new stadium and that they intend to use vigorous marketing and publicity campaigns, pricing packages and policy elements to ensure success. He also explained that the CPZ was part of the package so that the car would have a negative impact on residents.

In response to questions on crowd arrival and departure dynamics, Mr. Sapiro stated that there was a greater spread in the time people arrived before a match than when they departed and that only 50% of supporters would arrive in the final hour before the game because, due to the CPZ, they would have to walk further than if they arrived earlier when they’d claim parking spaces closer to the stadium. Mr. Platt enquired as to what studies on existing practices at football matches were used in determining this hypothesis but once again, somewhat astonishingly, Mr. Sapiro explained that no surveys had been conducted; it was based on their experiences and was agreed with Steer Davies Gleave.

Mr. Platt enquired what would be the effect of fans being dropped off and picked up outside the ground before and after events; Mr. Sapiro felt this would have little impact.

He then enquired how the use of buses would be encouraged and Mr. Sapiro responded that whilst it wasn't intentionally planned to encourage bus use, the buses stopped 100 yards from the stadium and he felt this would encourage fans to use the bus service, while the car user is required the use of either park and walk or park and ride sites which would then necessitate a lengthy walk.

It is safe to say that discouraging car use is therefore being used to influence the use of buses, not that buses on their own would offer a more preferable alternative..

Returning to Destination Kirkby’s preferred method for moving fans in and out of the area Mr. Platt enquired what was the capacity of the queueing reservoir at the Westvale bus park and was told that the capacity was not known but the size would be the length of 30 buses x 1 bus length. According to Mr. Sapiro’s proof of evidence the Westvale Bus Park is expected to process approximately 19,500 fans.

Mr. Platt established that the reason for 3,000 being missing from the modal split was that this is the minimum amount of seats that must be supplied to away fans as per Premier League rules. Mr. Platt asked what would happen if Everton wanted to make up to 15% (7,500) of the stadium capacity available to away fans, the maximum amount available for cup games; Mr. Sapiro stated that the plans would have to be modified.

Mr. Platt then raised concerns that fans travelling to Liverpool by train using services from Chester, Ellesmere Port, New Brighton and West Kirby would be competing for seats with fellow fans at both Moorfields and Liverpool station. He felt that due to the passenger capacity on the Kirkby line being 3,800 per hour and up to 10,000 new regular fans expected at the stadium that fans would become more competitive with eachother for a place on the first train that is available.

He stated that the number of fans wishing to travel by train could increase if the proposed electrification of the service from Wrexham went ahead which would see regular services direct to to the Liverpool city centre loop from North Wales.

Mr. Platt also suggested that passengers boarding from as far as Sandhills would find it difficult to board and find space on the train; this problem would be exacerbated as supporters attempted to travel from stations closer to Kirkby. He continued that it would be problematic at rush hour on a weekday evening game (European games/cup games) as the train would be in demand by fans, commuters and those wishing to visit Fazakerly Hospital.

Mr. Sapiro responded that the plan anticipated staggered travel plans over a three hour period, Mr. Platt asked Mr. Sapiro, “So effectively you are predicting that people will begin to travel to games at 4:30pm for a 7:30pm kick off for example". Mr. Sapiro replied that he was predicting this but that 7:30 kick-offs are not as common any more.

Mr. Platt then questioned the validity of a table in Mr. Sapiro's proof (SUP/KMBC/P/4), which implied that 5% of fans surveyed based in South and London walk to the game. Mr. Platt read out a few more anomalies, seen below:

4% of fans surveyed in Lancashire/Scotland say they walk to the game?
5% of fans surveyed in Crewe and Midlands say they walk to the game?
2% of fans surveyed from South Wirral walk (across the River Mersey) to the game?

Mr. Platt also asserted that the taxi usage figures were also questionable.

Mr. Sapiro admitted there was a margin for error in surveys and raised the possibility of misunderstanding or mischevious fans.

Mr. Platt asked, in light of this revelation, if they were used when planning the revised transport strategy and should any weight was to be given to the figures? Mr. Sapiro explained that the figures were not considered when making the travel plan but admitted that the results were flawed and agreed that no weight should be given to the survey's figure.

Mr. Platt asked if Mr. Sapiro could expand on the statement relating to information on traffic flows that had been derived from the ARCADY computer program, (Assessment of Roundabout Capacity and DelaY), and were apparently in conflict to what the previous witness, Mr Ellis, claimed.

Mr Sapiro preferred to simply restate his proof of evidence; “Even where significant queuing is predicted, the assessments may underestimate the extent of this – for example, a large queue is expected on the Cherryfield Drive approach to the Valley Road roundabout post-match – however, ARCADY assumes that the full width of the give way line can be used – but if much of this traffic wishes to make one movement at the junction (most will want to turn left to access M57), then the true capacity will be less than the ARCADY assessment predicts (as the right hand part of the give way line will be under-utilised), so queues can be expected to be significantly greater than predicted."

Mr. Platt asked Mr. Sapiro if he felt the transport strategy was sustainable and asked if he felt using buses from as far as Fleetwood and Manchester could be seen as a sustainable transport strategy for the next 25 years seeing as that is the minimum time period that Everton will be contracted to the stadium.

Mr Sapiro explained that sustainable transport was designed to encourage people to travel while minimilising damage to the environment, he also stated his belief that we could be driving hydrogen driven cars by then and that these proposed strategies would be repeated at other stadia in the future.

Finally, Mr. Platt then asked if he felt that a transport generator should be built in an area which currently lacks the provision to cope with it's demands. Mr. Sapiro claimed that it should and often areas with the provision already in place are wasting resources.

KEIOC feel that it is worth mentioning that many people who have studied stadium locations have concluded that stadia should be built where there is a suitable transport provision already in place.

Mr. Roger Lancaster, counsel for the combined authorities, was next to cross-examine Mr. Sapiro. Mr. Lancaster asked about the work conducted to establish the CPZ. Mr Sapiro said that the CPZ would be agreed following consultation with the public. He said “further investigation beyond informed assessments, had not yet been made about the cost of the scheme as this was thought unnecessary until the future of the development was decided.”

Mrs Burden then Rupert Warren, counsel for Tesco, sought to provide clarification that Sefton Council would not have to fund the CPZ within their boundaries.

The next witness for the applicant was Mr. Gary Halman, a chartered surveyor and town planner, specialising in planning and environmental aspects. Mr. John Barrett, counsel for Tesco, led Mr. Halman through his evidence.

Mr Halman explained that recent additions to the Regional Spatial Strategy and the Liverpool City Region (LCR) priorities, the Secretary of State has added the particular need to address worklessness and achievable regeneration. He explained that Kirkby would be one of these, a suburban area in serious need of regeneration and that these amendments, made in September last year, stressed the importance of addressing the needs of the outlying areas of the Liverpool City Region. He agreed these developments were positive endorsements of Tesco’s work to get the long term jobless into employment and that the Regional Development Framework had also been amended to include the imperative to address the needs of deprived areas.

Mr Halman explained that Knowsley had been highlighted as one of the most deprived areas in the region and the Secretary of State had accepted this view, it was his opinion that this may have accounted for the recent amendments to regional planning policies and that representations had been made to the Secretary of State to address this need in the Liverpool City Region.

Mr Halman explained that these amendments made it clear that development “of an appropriate scale” to address regeneration were required.

Mrs Burden closed the inquiry for the day.

This scheme was first envisaged in 2006; at that time the economy was buoyant, Kirkby had just adopted a new development plan and local jobs and prosperity were exhibiting positive trends. The desperation to deliver this development has plumbed new depths by now selling itself as the pre-planned saviour to Kirkby’s economic problems, it is an embarrassing attempt to exploit the current economic situation in order to secure a development that is for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many.

For Evertonians, the saddest aspect of this whole debacle is the involvement of Everton. The inaccessibility of the proposed stadium has been laid bare and the proposed treatment of the 47,000 supporters that Everton expect to arrive and depart from the proposed stadium has been laid bare. Those individuals, left at the club, who are responsible for Everton’s involvement in this increasingly desperate scheme should hang their heads in shame as this is not a future legacy for generations of Evertonians to come nor is it in keeping with the principles of the club’s founding fathers.

 Post subject: Re: ENQUIRY WEEK 4 - DAYS 17-20
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:21 pm 
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Day 20 – Tesco store too big for local population
Mr. Gary Halman, expert witness for KMBC on planning matters, told the public inquiry that Kirkby was failing, that it has been declining for many years and that its town centre is under performing. Mr. Barratt, counsel for KMBC, was keen to establish that “opportunity and need” ran through the Regional Spatial Strategy, that deprived areas were often close to areas of economic growth and he stressed that this requirement sought to address the fact that some of the poorest, most deprived areas were often located next to areas of opportunity and growth, he suggested that this was the case in Kirkby.

Mr. Halman explained that the Destination Kirkby proposal provided a good fit between the development, the benefits it would deliver, sustainable community policies, healthy lifestyles, regeneration and educational achievement. He went on to say, “There’s a good level of compliance and support with current planning policies, the scheme would deliver sustainable development and there was no question that it was expected to be successful.” He continued, “The quality of the development, traffic management, maintaining the quality and diversity of habitat, measures to use renewable energy, energy efficient buildings and recycling of waste complied with the requirements of the RSS.”

Mr Barrett and Mr Halman were perhaps less keen to reveal the recent findings of the All Party Urban Development Group (APUDG), a cross-party group of MPs and peers that says that, while the UK's cities have undergone comprehensive physical regeneration over the past two decades, with resultant economic growth, those living near regeneration areas have not benefited by way of employment. Mr. Clive Betts MP, chair of the APUDG, said that regeneration projects have significant potential for getting local people trained and into work, but in many cases, newly built city centres and other areas of successful physical regeneration have been juxtaposed by continued deprivation and worklessness.

Mr Halman went on to say that the current UDP, had a sell by date of June 2009, he explained that some parts of the UDP were no longer up to date and should be allowed to lapse, which gave the local authorities the chance to step back and review their requirements. Knowsley Council had done this and decided that some parts no longer fully complied with national planning policy. He explained that as the Local Development Framework, the LDF, was ongoing and wasn’t expected to be in place by the end of 2011, it would not be suitable to put this proposal through the Development Plan process.

Whilst conceding that the LDF process was more appropriate for a plan like this, Mr Halman explained that the availability of land, the acute needs of the town, the needs of Everton and that there was a developer with a strong track record and financial ability to deliver a development of this size, meant that, “this was an opportunity that existed now and if this was missed it would be tragic. It would not be in the best interests of the planning system to put this on hold for several years.”

The clear dilemma here is that it would conversely appear not to be in the best interests of the people in Liverpool, Sefton, Skelmersdale, St Helens and, somewhat ironically, people from other centres in Knowsley if it were to go ahead.

Managing to keep his face straight Mr. Halman told the inquiry that he felt that the Regional Spatial Strategy provided a suitable standard against which the proposal could be tested, that limited importance should be given to the UDP and went on to explain various elements of the development that would be beneficial to both North and South parts of the town; but quickly added that he did not recognise the two Kirkby’s idea.

Somewhat commendably Mr Halman explained that, “KMBC wanted the Regional Spatial Strategy to take more account of the acute needs of Kirkby than had been realised when the Local Development Framework and Unitary Development Plan were drawn up.” Mr Halman explained that because of this they had made representations to the Secretary of State and thought the recent amendments to the RSS were a result of these representations. Once again readers of this website are reminded that an element of those representations concerned the promotion of Kirkby ahead of other centres; you can read the Secretary of State’s decision on this matter here. ( ... eturnid=85)

Mr Stephen Sauvain, QC for Liverpool City Council, commenced his cross-examination by asking Mr Halman why the application wasn’t suitable for the LDF process and why the RSS is more appropriate than the UDP. Mr. Halman explained that it was clear that the previous strategy through the UDP had not been successful, that some of the solutions to the town centres problems set out in the UDP had been demonstrated to be unsuccessful and that the town’s needs were much more significant than could be delivered by the strategy laid out in the UDP.

This would be the UDP that was adopted by Knowsley Council only 18 months before this planning application was submitted. Mr Halman was attempting to justify the need for a scheme over 300% greater than was identified under that UDP. Obviously the extent of the deprivation in Kirkby had been slightly underestimated when producing the current UDP.

Mr Halman agreed that Planning Policy Statement 6 was the key guidance to assessing the retail aspects of this proposal but added that the new PPS 4 included retail development associated with economic development and as a result there was now recognition of retail’s role; he felt that all the RSS policies had to be seen together, in the round.

Mr. Halman also agreed the scale of the development had to be taken into consideration but this did not relate to the current scale and function of the town centre. Mr. Sauvain then put it to Mr. Halman that Kirkby was not making the most of what it had and that worklessness needs to be looked at in context of other policies. He wanted to know why they had not used the sequential approach and looked at developing built up land rather than open land. DP4 states that there needs to be clear evidence of why built up land can't be redeveloped. Mr. Halman failed to agree that Kirkby was simply not making the best use of its current size; he explained that transformational change couldn’t happen if only the North site was redeveloped; they had to look beyond that, the degree of change needed for regeneration needed the use of open land.

Mr Sauvain put it to Mr. Halman that economic regeneration is a material consideration but that he was trying to suggest that there is no conflict with policy therefore the Secretary of State doesn’t need to take this into account because of Tesco's financial viability. Mr. Halman replied that he acknowledged there is evidence of conflict but that it is broadly compliant; there was sufficient broad compliance.

When it was put to Mr. Halman that there was no guarantee of phase four of the development happening and that the leisure unit and Kirkby civic buildings would be going onto the open market, he agreed and stated that they wanted to change Kirkby from a town no-one was interested in into a major retail destination; a boast that will no doubt be noted by the Secretary of State.

In closing, Mr. Sauvain once again attempted to unearth a little more information on the cross-subsidy and the council being satisfied that the retail was the nearest they could get to comply with policy. Mr. Halman denied that KMBC supported this scale of the development simply because it was needed for the enabling element and, apparently forgetting the fifty occasions that it is mentioned in the planning application, pointed to the many mentions in Council documents of the need for critical mass to regenerate the area and that King Sturge had said that the quantum was critical.
Mr. Roger Lancaster, counsel for the combined authorities, began his cross-examination by suggesting that this change of function should be dealt with through the Local Development Framework. Mr. Halman agreed that to be the case, and that in ordinary circumstances, developments that created a significant change of role and function of a town should be put through the LDF process; but, he suggested, that if policies were appropriate for a similar development in Skelmersdale, an area that Mr Lancaster appeared for, then it must be the same for Kirkby, explaining that Skelmersdale and Kirkby shared several characteristics in the retail hierarchy. Mr. Lancaster was quick to correct Mr. Halman, “No, it is not', Skelmersdale is third priority and is of appropriate scale; if you’re suggesting that it was not appropriate, then you must also be saying that Kirkby, by default, was not. Mr. Halman appeared not to have a view on Mr. Lancaster’s observation.

Mr. Lancaster reminded him that in September 2008, the office of the Secretary of State left it to local government to define centres and indicate their roles; Mr. Lancaster asked why they had decided to use an ad hoc approach to this. Mr. Halman denied this encouraged an ad hoc approach, he insisted there was guidance in place that allowed authorities to take this stance and that development is allowed through guidance. He explained that he was a supporter of plan led proposals but added that if authorities could find an acceptable level of compliance with relevant policies then developments should not be held up unnecessarily. Once again Mr. Lancaster reminded Mr. Holman that he had called Kirkby a suburban township and that the proposal was transformational; it was “radical intervention”. With regard to the former, Mr. Lancaster declared that “it won't be that when you've finished with it!”

Moving on, Mr. Lancaster sought clarification on the description that the change was massive, he could only elicit from Mr. Halman that the term was subjective, that the current centre was failing and that there was a clear need to change perceptions.
Mr. Lancaster then asked if the proposed retail was necessary to meet the needs of this community and was initially given the stock answer that the investment proposed would address the problem of leakage. Mr. Lancaster mocked this answer “But Mr. Halman, this is the biggest aspidistra, the biggest Tesco in the region...'” Mr. Halman concurred that the size of the Tesco store wasn't necessary to meet the needs of the local population.

On something of a roll Mr. Lancaster then put it to Mr. Halman that if phase four didn't materialize 90% of this development would be out of town, on Greenfield space. Mr. Halman concurred that there was a risk of that happening. Mr Halman explained that the plans did reflect the individual character of Kirkby and explained that he did not think it was sensible to recreate a failing centre; what was needed was something that was more sustainable.

Taking the opportunity to elicit more information in regard to the apparent mysteries surrounding the alleged cross-subsidy Mr. Lancaster once again moved onto the question of enabling, citing a report from the KMBC planning Committee, dated June 2nd, CD 5.1 page32, which stated: “The development proposals are then examined in order to explain the relationship with the stadium development and the subsequent transformational opportunity that is created for Kirkby. In particular, the key principle that underpins the proposal is that the stadium cannot, for viability / cost reasons, be secured without the enabling retail development. Furthermore, the ranges of regenerative benefits associated with the proposal are described.”

A clearly embarrassed Mr. Halman replied that it was loose language. Cross subsidizing was what the council took into account.

Mr. Lancaster continued from the report, “the scale of development is also appropriate and necessary in the context of providing cross funding for the new EFC stadium. The latter being the key investment required to secure a ‘step change’ in Kirkby’s profile.' (Pg 81)

Mr. Halman again suggested that this was a different point to enabling development.

Completely ignoring Mr. Halman’s explanation Mr. Lancaster continued to quote from the report, “Whether the financial case has been made by the applicant to demonstrate the enabling development case. The applicant claims the scale of retail floor space proposed is needed to cross –subsidize the cost of building the new stadium for Everton.

i) Is the costs for the scheme reasonable?

ii) Can the £52million gap be justified?

iii) Is the amount of floor space proposed the minimum necessary to raise the subsidy required?” (p224)

Referring to this passage Mr. Lancaster suggested that the contagion of loose words must have got to the council's chief planning officer, as he seemed to understand it was enabling; “The report makes it clear that this was an enabling development and the officers made their decision accordingly.”
In closing Mr. Lancaster enquired about European funding received by Kirkby. Mr. Halman agreed that Kirkby had received Objective One money from Europe but that it hadn’t translated into changes in planning policy. Mr Halman continued, “Nobody had disagreed that despite all the money that had been poured into this area, it still faced huge challenges.”

Never did Mr. Halman speak a truer word; there’s a huge challenge being undertaken by the residents of Kirkby as we speak.

After a brilliant display of cross-examination Mr. Lancaster can look forward to a well-earned rest over the weekend.

Mrs. Burden closed the inquiry; day 21 starts at 09:30 on Tuesday.

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