Purchase notices withdrawn

COMPULSORY purchase orders to buy a house and two parcels of land on Felixstowe seafront have been withdrawn.Following the rejection of the proposals for a £15 million-plus regeneration scheme for 17-acres of land – of which the properties are a part – Suffolk Coastal does not have such an urgent need to take over the sites.

COMPULSORY purchase orders to buy a house and two parcels of land on Felixstowe seafront have been withdrawn.

Following the rejection of the proposals for a £15 million-plus regeneration scheme for 17-acres of land - of which the properties are a part - Suffolk Coastal does not have such an urgent need to take over the sites.

It gives the council more time to try to reach a deal with the landowners.

Cabinet member for the environment and the south seafront scheme Andy Smith decided to withdraw the compulsory purchase orders (CPOs).


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He said the CPO was "vitally connected" to the council's planners' decision to reject the scheme for 209 houses and some leisure facilities on the land.

"In that circumstance the council was unable, at the moment, to satisfy one of the basic requirements necessary to have any chance of confirmation of the CPO - namely that, were the CPO to be confirmed, the development scheme would be able to proceed without any planning difficulties," he said.

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With no planning approval, the council would not be able to demonstrate to the Secretary of State the "compelling justification" to acquire the property.

Mr Smith said it was not sufficient to indicate land was required for a development complying with planning policy, the council had to be able to demonstrate there was a reasonable prospect of the scheme going ahead.

A CPO should be a remedy of last resort. If it was not required or could not be operated immediately, it should be withdrawn at the earliest opportunity to save costs to the public of processing the orders and a possible public inquiry.

A report on the decision will be presented to the council on September 23.

One of the landowners served with a CPO accused the council of "jumping the gun" and claimed there had been "no meaningful negotiations" over the possible purchase of the three-quarters of an acre site in Orford Road for three years.

Meanwhile, the executors of the estate of the late AV Thompson, owners of the other piece of land, a similar-sized parcel on Wireless Green, Langer Road, have obtained a certificate of appropriate alternative development for their site.

This has raised its value by saying that while the council wants it for car parking, it would be suitable for 16 two-storey flats if it was not required.

Suffolk Coastal insists it remains keen to purchase at a fair price and by agreement the land and property in the area it does not already own.

"This fair price would also have to meet with the independent approval of a body such as the District Valuer," said a council spokesman.

"Compulsory purchase is a last resort that will only be used if all efforts to reach agreement have failed.

"To date we have been unable to agree with some of the landowners or their agents upon an initial figure on which to begin detailed negotiations."

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