A Cabinet meeting of Cheshire East Council has approved the submission of a compulsory purchase order application to government as part of the £90m town centre scheme in Macclesfield.
The council received cross-party support for the proposal on Tuesday. The CPO, if approved, would cover the site bounded by Great King Street and Exchange Street to the north; Churchill Way and Wardle Street to the south; Mill Street, Duke Street and Park Lane to the east; and Churchill Way to the west.
The council and developer Wilson Bowden Developments is negotiating with 12 interested parties in 10 properties within the area; a storage and distribution warehouse, two shops, a substation, five residential properties, and the Senior Citizens Hall.
Cllr Michael Jones, leader of Cheshire East Council, told Place North West, he was "very happy to move [the scheme] forward" but stressed that the council "really wants to negotiate a settlement with the key parties.
The report presented to the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday stressed that "the Council's compulsory purchase powers are a measure of last resort." Negotiations are still ongoing with the interested parties, however the report went on to say that "not all of the outstanding interests are likely to be acquired by private treaty within a reasonable timescale."
The proposed 200,000 sq ft mixed-use scheme by Wilson Bowden Developments received planning permission in June 2013. It will be anchored by a Debenhams department store and Cineworld cinema alongside 19 other retail units, a 718-space multi-storey car park and new square.
Jones said that Macclesfield was "a key town for us" with the regeneration plans representing "evolution not revolution".
Funding for the land assembly is being provided by Wilson Bowden as part of its development agreement with the council.
The scheme is expected to be complete by the end of 2016.