Edge Lane football ground proposal divides community

Proposals for a near 2,000 capacity football ground on Edge Lane have been met with a mixed response from the community.

Since forming in 2015, City of Liverpool FC have been on the lookout for a pitch to call home. The Northern Premier League club has so far been unable to put down roots, currently sharing with Bootle FC at the Berry Street Garage Stadium.

New plans designed by the non-league club have proposed a future settlement at land off Edge Lane which have left the community divided.

A pre-planning application submission has captured the club’s plans for land at Edge Lane recreation ground, also known as Rathbone Park. The document said how City of Liverpool Football Club (COLFC) intends to revitalise the derelict all-weather football pitch and adjoining community park to provide a “first-class community sporting amenity.”

The proposals include an enclosed community football ground for almost 2,000 spectators, with a 3G artificial grass pitch, plus associated storage, parking and access arrangements. 

On Facebook, the response to the plans have been mixed. Hayley Mercer wrote, “It will cause chaos, and saying kids will be able to play on it at the weekend is absolute rubbish. 

“It will be locked up and if you want to use it you’d have to pay. Where is the parking? Dogs probably won’t be allowed in.”

Stephen Barton said, “It will be great for the area, a lot is getting said about issues that need raising and I’ve got no doubt the City of Liverpool team will have answers in the meeting, an excellent opportunity for Old Swan.”

Kieran Beesley added, “Can’t be anything worse than the wasteland it is now. Not been maintained since the 80s.”

Benjamin Lewis said, “I personally think this is a terrible idea. Where are 2,000 people going to park and after building the football stadium parking area and entrance and exit roads around what they claim to be a new skatepark and kids playground and garden. 

“The garden and kids playground sound great but only if we can get into the land to use them.”

On a dedicated page on its website, City of Liverpool FC put across its own pitch for the new site. It said, “Our local park has seen better days. 

“Over time, it’s become a shadow of its former self, unused and overlooked. But there’s potential beneath its derelict exterior.

“We’re rallying the community to take ownership and rejuvenate this space. As part of our plan, the old, damaged football pitch will be replaced with a modern, functional one.

“It’s more than just refurbishment—it’s about creating a space that truly serves and reflects our community. Kids need a place to play. 

“Adults need a spot to relax. We all deserve a park that’s clean, safe, and functional.

“We’ve got a clear vision, but we want to hear from you. After all, it’s your park. 

“Let’s get it back to being a place we’re proud of.”

The site has been held for retail development as part of the fourth phase of Liverpool Shopping Park opposite that has not materialised, in an area of mixed commercial and residential properties. COLFC is seeking the advice of Liverpool Council ahead of a full application following an asset transfer agreement with the local authority.

Previously, it had been hoped a long-term future for the club could have been established almost six miles away at Adlam Park in Fazakerley. Most recently, plans for a community asset transfer had been earmarked for the park’s unused pavilion.

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