North Quay regeneration
The Council is seeking a comprehensive and high-quality regeneration scheme at North Quay which will deliver a new urban quarter in this important part of the town centre, including opening the river frontage to public access.
To secure this important development, the Council is now at a stage where it is necessary to assemble the land or property required for regeneration. In order to achieve this, the Council's Cabinet approved a Land Assembly and Engagement Strategy on 25 July 2023. The Council is committed to working with affected parties to reach voluntary agreements. The Council resolved in principle at Committee on 12 July 2022 to approve the use of compulsory purchase powers in respect of North Quay. However, the Council would prefer to reach an agreement and reserve the use of compulsory purchase powers as a last resort.
The Council is currently engaging with occupiers and landowners to discuss relocation and what their needs are in relation to this. The Council would like to understand business/personal needs and what is required in order to relocate successfully. This will allow the Council to offer assistance with relocation where it is necessary and appropriate. This may include support in identifying suitable premises for relocation. Where possible, representatives of the Council would like to meet with affected parties to understand specific needs.
If a voluntary purchase of the property/land is not possible, then the Council intends to seek authority from the Council's relevant decision makers to purchase the land compulsorily. Please see further information on Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) below or for further general information, please look at the Government guidance:
- Compulsory purchase process and the Crichel Down Rules
- Compulsory purchase and compensation: guide 1 - procedure
The range of heads of compensation for a compulsory purchase will necessarily be applicable to the case and depend on the circumstances and will be considered when the Council confirms the amount of its voluntary offer. Since the Council is seeking to acquire properties or interest in land prior to a compulsory purchase order, the Council is prepared to open negotiations to purchase the interest now and any agreement reached will reflect the amount had a compulsory purchase order taken place. This means that the Council's offer could include payments which are additional to the market value of the property or land. Completion of the purchase is time limited to being no longer than six months from when terms are agreed. The financial incentive will be withdrawn by the Council on a given long-stop date which will be either 29 September 2025 or the date the Council obtains Cabinet authority to make a resolution to use compulsory purchase powers for this scheme - whichever is sooner.
The Council is carrying out work in preparation of a CPO including land referencing. Land referencing is the process of identifying people and organisations that have a legal interest in property or land which may be affected by a regeneration project and identifying the nature of that interest. This information must be gathered in advance of a CPO so that the necessary details of land interests can be included in the CPO Schedule which sets out this information.
The Council has appointed the property consultants Lambert Smith Hampton to engage with affected parties on voluntary agreement. All enquiries related to this work should be directed to Julie Herbert or Simon Bachelor.
Why is the Council contemplating the use of a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO)?
To ensure that the regeneration can be delivered the Council intends to use its statutory CPO powers (in accordance with the regulations) in respect of land/property and rights if it is not possible to acquire these interests voluntarily.
What is a Compulsory Purchase Order?
A Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) once confirmed gives the Council (as acquiring authority) the legal power to obtain land or property without the consent of the owner or any other parties with a legal interest in land.
Where there is a planning supported development for which there is a compelling case in the public interest and which cannot be undertaken without the acquisition of third party land and property, the Council can use its Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) powers to facilitate that development (in accordance with a statutory process and a compensation code).
How does a CPO get confirmed?
Before a CPO can be used to acquire interests in land it must first be confirmed by the Secretary of State or by the Council (with permission to do so from the Secretary of State).
Once the Council have the necessary authority from their cabinet to make the CPO, the CPO will be made. It will then be publicised and served on all affected parties and submitted to the Department for Communities and Local Government (Secretary of State) for confirmation.
. After submission, the Secretary of State will consider the CPO and decide whether it should be confirmed. If there are any objections that are not withdrawn from parties with a legal interest in land [JB1] the Secretary of State will usually hold a public inquiry or use the written representations process so that the Council and the objectors can have their say before the Secretary of State decides whether or not the CPO should be confirmed. An objection will not affect the objector's statutory right to receive compensation if the Order is subsequently confirmed.
How will the ownership of my interest in land be transferred to the Council?
If a CPO is confirmed, the Council will publish notice of this and serve a copy on all affected parties. Following publication of the notice of the confirmed CPO the Council has the power to serve further legal notices which transfer the ownership of the land to the Council after a specified time.
The Council as acquiring authority - will publish the timetable for taking possession in good time to enable affected parties to transfer the property.
Will I receive compensation for land acquired via CPO?
Claimants with a legal interest in land or property affected by these development proposals, can make a claim for compensation which will be considered by the Council.
Should it not be possible for the amount of avalid claim to be settled by agreement there is the option of making a reference to the Upper Tribunal (Land Chamber) for a settlement to be decided.
If you are an owner or occupier affected by these proposals we encourage you to engage with the Property Occupiers and Owners contacts.