Report of the Executive Director for Growth, Planning and Housing.
Councillor Acton introduced this report, emphasising that the Church Street Regeneration scheme is critical to the Council’s drive to address the shortage of affordable housing in the city, delivering 2000 new homes, community spaces and other major benefits. Councillor Acton made clear that any CPO in place would be used only as a last resort and that the focus would remain on working with businesses and residents to acquire the necessary land and buildings on mutually agreeable terms.
The report outlines that where the use of compulsory purchase powers are invoked a further detailed report and the proposed Statement of Reasons would come forward to Members setting out the justification for the making of the CPO in question.
Councillor Harvey asked how the Council would support those with an emotional attachment to their home to move without invoking the use of compulsory purchase powers. Councillor Acton assured him that extensive support was in place to help residents, with a dedicated team of officers embedded within the local community to better align opportunities with individual needs.
Councillor Green noted that the decant of some residents had begun and that there were several families already scheduled to move to new homes nearby on the West End Green site in his ward. Councillor Green noted that the new homes were of a high standard, including accommodation that was dementia friendly.
Councillor Robathan reiterated that the regeneration of Church Street is a hugely important scheme for residents but that the use of any compulsory purchase powers must only be as a last resort when all other efforts to reach an agreement had been exhausted.
Prior to voting Councillor Robathan asked Hazel Best, the Council’s legal representative, to confirm that Councillor Green was able to participate in voting on this item given his role as Cabinet Member for Planning. Hazel confirmed that there was no conflict as no live planning application.
RESOLVED: Cabinet agreed that 'in principle' use of compulsory purchase powers be made available to assemble the land required for the redevelopment of Site A should all reasonable attempts to acquire the necessary land and interests fail.