Anfield Stadium Expansion

Our work for Liverpool Football Club (LFC) has extended from proposals to build a new ‘Stadium in the Park’ to the creation of a ‘Stadium on the Park’.

This alternative route to the pursuit of additional capacity marked fundamental alteration in the approach of LFC’s new owners, with associated benefits for the community from which the Anfield stadium has grown.

Designs for a new stadium within the historic Stanley Park originally gained planning approval in 2004, but were soon supplanted by the Texan owner’s ever more ambitious proposals. They sought to design a world-class stadium for 80,000 fans, referencing LFC’s defining feature – the famous Spion Kop Stand.

By 2012, as LFC celebrated its 120th year, it was clear that Anfield was, and should remain, the club’s physical and spiritual home. Further changes in ownership (to Fenway Sports Holdings, owners of the Boston Red Sox) reinforced the club’s desire to remain at Anfield, redeveloping and expanding the existing stadium on the borders of Stanley Park.

Planit-IE supported LFC’s plans to integrate and extend the facilities into the surrounding Anfield and Breckfield neighbourhood, in collaboration with Liverpool City Council and Your Housing Association. Working alongside the partners we helped create the Strategic Regeneration Framework, combining numerous live projects and new, longer-term ambitions that would underpin the vision to realise lasting social, economic and environmental transformation. The resulting design guidance and development parameters shaped proposals that have guided the planning application for two new stands.

The successful application was supported by our LVIA, CGIs, verified views and detailed public realm proposals.

New public spaces, covering an area greater than that of the hallowed pitch within the stands, extend the influence of Stanley Park into the neighbourhood, to create a series of connected squares and plazas, that together form a green foil to the stadium. Throughout our work we have balanced the needs of the local community, who will use the spaces on a daily basis, with the sensitivities associated with the relocation of the Hillsborough Memorial; alongside the aspiration to maximise the fans’ match day experience.

We worked with the club to develop their world marketing and brand strategy associated with the launch of the stadium expansion. Virtual Planit created CGIs, real-time camera-matched videos, animations and immersive 360-degree virtual reality experiences to help LFC secure global corporate sponsorship, enhance strategic partnerships and market the expanded corporate offer.

Circle Square

Occupying central Manchester’s former BBC site, this new neighbourhood is strategically located on Corridor Manchester’s Oxford Road to actively promote alliances; capitalising on the value of proximity to stimulate advancement. Circle Square will enable people to converge to create, work and live in an environment that attracts and fosters talented people. Designed to promote collaboration, but also delivered through collaboration, the development is being realised via a partnership between commercially-focused Bruntwood and residential specialist Select Property Group.

The quality of the ‘place’ is set at the heart of Planit-IE and Feilden Clegg Bradley’s joint masterplan. The scheme combines people, location, activity, cultural richness, microclimate and human-scale to form the setting for a diverse and thriving new community. A Place Making Strategy guides proposals that draw on the site’s history to reintroduce its urban grain and reconnect the site to the city, whilst setting an ambitious and innovative vision for the future.

The development surrounds and focuses on a key central space at its epicenter, illustrated by CGIs produced by Virtual Planit. The central ‘green’ is a flexible external area for relaxation, recreation and events throughout the seasons, that provides a canvas of opportunity to bring people together.



First Street is rapidly becoming Manchester’s most vibrant new neighbourhood, providing a compelling blend of culture, leisure, retail and office space. This includes the 208-bed INNSIDE hotel, Vita’s 279-room luxury student accommodation, 700-space Q-Park, 180,000sq ft Number One office and Manchester’s new cultural venue, HOME. These combine to form the first phase of ASK Development’s £500m scheme, a new high quality destination within the city.

The development wraps around Tony Wilson Place at the heart of the scheme. This square provides a flexible performance platform for large events, bordered by elongated timber seating steps, whilst a series of lively streets link a genuinely public realm to surrounding areas.

Planit carried out the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment for ASK Developments’s overall masterplan, with verified views and CGIs produced by our in-house team Virtual Planit. We developed detailed public realm designs for First Street North, prior to being novated to Carillion.

The successful completion of First Street North coincided with acquisition of the site by European Investor Patrizia. The new owner swiftly submitted a planning application for a further 219,600sq ft office, appointing Planit-IE as the Landscape Architect for the associated public realm and internal atria garden spaces.

Surf Snowdonia, Dolgarrog

Give us a pioneering Client, a challenging site where nothing else would seem to work, to design and construct something nobody has ever built… It would appear this is the perfect blend for success.

The project has come together relatively quickly, yet the team had been looking at options for the site for over three years. The introduction of Wavegarden to the equation was a game-changer – as it has been for Dolgarrog and North Wales. This is not another cheap and cheerful water park – it is a world-class surfing facility, generating the perfect 2m high wave, day in day out, all year round, catering for beginners and experts alike. We have had many projects on the books but this is one of the most exciting and is in closes harmony with our core values. We can’t wait to get the wet-suits on and start surfing!’

The site of the former aluminium works in Dolgarrog had lain derelict since 2006, when the Ainscough Group purchased it. Although the site had an open mixed-use local plan policy relating to it, numerous feasibility studies for lodge and outdoor recreation uses had floundered, and it was clear the creation of a national tourist destination would be required to make it viable. The  sensitive setting, close to the Snowdonia National Park boundary, made a landscape-led approach the obvious way forward. The site sits within the flood plain of the River Conwy, and this combined with the challenging ground conditions, drove the masterplan proposals and ultimately the disposition of uses across the site. The client’s brief was for no material to leave or be brought to the site, hence the need to design the scheme in 3-dimensions from the outset.

Having researched the world leisure market, the team came across the ‘Wavegarden’. The Wavegarden© concept was developed over a period of seven years by a group of Hydrological, Civil and Mechanical Engineers – who also happen to be passionate surfers. R&D investment totalling €7m led to the construction of a full-sized prototype in Northern Spain which was tested by some of the Pro-Tour’s greatest surfers, to rapturous approval. CGIs produced by Virtual Planit played an important role is demonstrating how the new surf lagoon would be integrated into its rural setting.

The Wavegarden© at Surf Snowdonia is the first publicly-accessible surf lagoon up and running in the world. Projects are being developed across the globe from locations as diverse as Barcelona; Berlin; Australia and… Hawaii. The new technology immediately opened up the opportunity to host competitions and gave credence to the bid for surfing to be included as an Olympic sport.

Our Client has real vision and genuine passion for the project, yet every decision made has been grounded in commercial reality.

Kirskstall Forge, Leeds

Production at England’s oldest forge, at Kirkstall to the West of Leeds, finally ceased in 2003. Since this time nature has reclaimed the site, colonising banks and softening structures to create a unique character and patina. It is this quality we strive to retain as a new mixed-use community is integrated and sunk into the dense vegetation. Development will be set into the wooded banks of the River Aire, which cuts through the heart of the site.

This will always be a community on the ‘edge’ – edge of City; edge of River; edge of nature. It is clear the task of ‘knitting’ the site back into its surroundings must extend well beyond the red line boundary. Promotion and ‘infestation’ of the site though temporary uses, guided walks, festivals, and maybe even a BMX race, will be essential to it’s success. In this way the new Kirkstall Forge development will play a vital role within one of the major green fingers that connect Leeds to the countryside.

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