A Compulsory Purchase Order to clear the way for work to begin on the transformation of Urmston shopping centre in Greater Manchester has been approved.
Hazel Blears, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has given the go-ahead to Trafford Borough Council's bid to compulsorily purchase commercial properties in the area, following a three-day public inquiry in August.
Full planning consent was granted to Ask developments in May for 140,000 sq ft of retails and leisure space, including 50,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space, a 50,000 sq ft Sainsbury's supermarket, a new library, shops and 144 apartments.
A Compulsory Purchase Order was made on several properties, including retailers In Store and Farm Foods, both of whom objected to the CPO.
Julie Moorhouse, development executive at Ask Developments said: "We can confirm that the Compulsory Purchase Order has been successful and that following discussions with Farmfoods, they have now chosen to close the store on 27 December.
"We are still in negotiations with InStore and under the CPO, we are now working to vacate that unit. This statutory process is expected to take up to three months.
"This is good news as it allows us now to progress further with the re-development of Urmston Shopping Centre into a place that we can all be proud of. Work has already started on the site, with the temporary relocation of the library and the demolition of the former toilets, supermarket, library, pub and one of the stores. Our demolition schedule will progress further once vacant possession of the remaining units has been achieved."
Phase one of the project – the demolition of former council offices and adjoining shop units – has now been completed.
Further demolition works and construction of the new centre is due to start once the council is in possession of the remaining units.
The first phase is due to be complete by 2009.