Liverpool have announced the latest step in their plans to expand Anfield.

The Reds confirmed today that they are set to hold a series of meetings with residents around the club in the coming week - and thousands of leaflets describing their plans have already been sent to neighbours.

The club are pressing ahead with plans to redevelop Anfield and increase capacity from its current level of around 54,000 to higher than 60,000.

If the plans come to fruition it could prove a financial boon for the club - and go some way to easing the immense pressure on ticket sales that irritates fans on a regular basis.

Liverpool have announced plans to redevelop Anfield

But before the club gets to a stage where an extension to the Anfield Road end could be built there are numerous hoops it will have to jump through.

Here is a rough idea of the steps LFC may take to secure an extension to the ground - and what could happen after that process finishes.

 

What will happen at the consultation?

Like Everton, who are currently in the process of preparing a full planning application for their new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock , Liverpool are holding a public consultation before applying for planning permission .

Used to help gauge the views of fans and residents, this exercise gives the club an opportunity to provide people with information about their plans before putting them to the council.

This step can prove crucial - and gives residents a chance to have their say about the plans before they go to council's planning committee.

Liverpool were badly burned last year after applying to the council to allow Anfield to be used for other sporting evens and concerts when neighbours descended en-masse on a council meeting and aired their worries about the plans in public.

 

Councillors sided against the club's plans, and though they were eventually approved months later, it was a costly and embarrasing incident.

Pre-application consultations provide a way for the club to hear about problems people may have with LFC's plans in enough time for them to address them.

The lights at Anfield. Photo by James Maloney
The lights at Anfield. Photo by James Maloney

What happens after the consultation - and how does the club get planning permission?

Presuming the club decides to go ahead with its plans after the consultation, it will have to formally submit a planning application to Liverpool Council.

Although this is the point at which the plans formally enter the planning application process, for projects the size and scope of an extension to Anfield the club will likely already have had lengthy discussions with Liverpool Council's planning officers before this point.

 

Once submitted, the application will be publicly viewable on the council website and any member of the public will have 21 days to comment on the plans.

While smaller developments can be given approval by the city's planning officers without a public meeting, larger developments or ones that have proved controversial normally go to the city's planning committee.

Any plans LFC put forward would likely be decided on at a public meeting at the town hall.

In Liverpool it meets on Tuesdays, normally at least once a month but sometimes more regularly.

Made up of elected councillors, planning committees are held in public and would involve a representative from LFC presenting the club's proposals to councillors and answering any questions they may have.

 

Anyone who opposes the application will also get a chance to speak against it before councillors make their decision.

How long would it take for the plans to get permission?

The time it takes for an application to get to the planning committee can vary wildly - and often depends on the size of the development and the amount of discussion the applicant has with the council before and after submitting the application.

Nick covers local government and politics for the ECHO, focusing on Liverpool City Council and the city region.

Among other subjects he covers planning, housing, education, deprivation and transport in his role as local democracy reporter.

Here are more of his stories, and here is all of the ECHO's politics coverage.

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To take Everton as an example, the club have made clear they are taking plenty of time to consider their stadium plans before submitting an application in the likely hope of getting it to a place where it is ready to be considered by the planning committee relatively promptly.

If Liverpool do similar, it could mean the club taking their time submitting plans for the extension - but potentially being rewarded with a quicker application process.