London: Everton have been given the green light to begin planning a new 50,000-seater stadium in Walton Hall Park in north Liverpool, the Premier League club said on Tuesday.
The new stadium will spearhead a major regeneration of the area planned by the city council.
"On my journey to our home games, as I pass Walton Hall Park, I inevitably think that I am only a minute away from our beloved Goodison (Park)... for several years now, I`ve also thought, if only it was available for our new stadium, it ticks all the boxes," Everton chairman Bill Kenwright said in a statement outlining the plans on the club`s website.
"An opportunity to explore the possibility of securing the new home we`ve looked for, for so long, is hugely exciting to me, but to do that in a way that supports, transforms and sustains our local communities, in our Everton heartland, is such a wonderful, added bonus."
Everton`s Goodison Park ground, where they have played since 1892, is one of the most atmospheric in the top flight of English football but a 40,000 capacity means the club cannot generate the kind of matchday revenue to enable it to compete with their north west rivals and London`s big clubs.
"Like all Evertonians, I love Goodison Park and have done since the day I first set foot in the Boy`s Pen but the prospect of developing a new stadium, and a new and vibrant community, just down the road from us, is to be grasped and encouraged," Kenwright added.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson said a new ground for Everton would be the `catalyst` in a regeneration scheme that would create significant job opportunities and economic benefits.
"This is a starting point for something which could be a real game changer for this part of the city," he said.
The club said its partners would develop ideas for the site in collaboration with the local community and supporters` groups and that a formal planning application could be lodged in the next 12 months.
Plans to revamp Liverpool`s Anfield Stadium, just across Stanley Park from Goodison, have also been recommended for approval by the city council.
The 150 million pound ($242.5 million) scheme would eventually see the stadium capacity rise to 58,000 from the current 45,000.