Cheshire West & Chester Council has started the process of using Compulsory Purchase powers to acquire 70 city centre properties as it looks to move the £300m Chester Northgate project forward.
The buildings are in the area of Hunter Street, St Martins Way, the rear of Watergate Street and Northgate Street behind Town Hall Square, where the retail and leisure-led development will be built.
GVA’s compulsory purchase team joined the Chester Northgate team in November 2016, two months after CWAC and Rivington Land’s proposal for the long-problematic project was approved.
The council said that it has been in discussions with affected property owners and that each will receive a copy of the order in the next week.
Cllr Brian Clarke, cabinet member for economic development and Infrastructure said: “We understand that making a CPO to acquire property interests can be difficult for property owners so we have been meeting and talking with them for some time to try and get an agreement that is right for all parties.
“This is a necessary step towards delivering the new Chester Northgate. We are now closer than we have ever been before – the finish line may be in the distance but we are marching towards it. We have delivered on Storyhouse, we have delivered Frodsham Street and our residents can trust that we will deliver on Northgate too.”
Progress has quickened at Northgate since approval in September. A professional team including Strutt & Parker, JLL, ACME, Aecom and Gardiner & Theobald has been assembled, while in February House of Fraser signed a 100,000 sq ft anchor pre-let and funding for a Crowne Plaza hotel was committed.