High Court dismisses Edge Lane West CPO challenge

Regeneration bosses have welcomed a Judge's decision to dismiss a challenge made against the Secretary of State's decision to confirm the compulsory purchase order for Edge Lane West in Liverpool.

The opposition campaign led by local resident Elizabeth Pascoe now has 21 days to seek leave to appeal against the decision.

The controversial campaign involves demolishing and partially replacing housing stock and improving the main road from the M62 into the city centre. An earlier CPO approval was quashed on a technicality in 2006. The second order was approved in September 2008.

The scheme is backed by the Homes & Communities Agency (formerly English Partnerships), Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Vision.

Eliot Lewis-Ward, HCA area director for Merseyside and Cheshire, said: "We were very disappointed to hear last December that a challenge had been lodged, and we now welcome what we hope is a green light to start work on this extremely important project.

"The plans involve the comprehensive regeneration of the Edge Lane corridor, which will help to attract new jobs, provide good quality housing and new community facilities. In addition the work on this principal gateway into Liverpool city centre will bring major highway improvements to public safety and access, for local people, commuters and visitors alike.

"The overwhelming majority of the local community who support our plans deserve to see work start in Edge Lane West on this long awaited and critically important part of the programme."

The Secretary of State's decision to confirm the CPO was challenged on two principal grounds. The first related to views expressed by CABE after the end of the public inquiry in February last year on proposed housing designs. The second related to the inquiry inspector's judgement, which was accepted by the Secretary of State, that alternative plans put forward by objectors were not deliverable.

The Judge, Mr Justice Ouseley, rejected both grounds of the claim.

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