Council to purchase land by force for new city centre road

Leicester City Council has started the process of forcing the owners of a car park to sell their land, allowing the council to build a new link road in the city centre.

The council has been trying to purchase the land for three years but negotiations have failed. The land comprises of a car park and parts of access roads to properties facing Belgrave Gate and Church Gate.

Officials say the new link road will connect Belgrave Gate with Mansfield Street, providing a much quicker route out of the city centre for buses leaving the Haymarket bus station. It would also enable Mansfield Street to be upgraded, making it suitable for buses and improving the environment for pedestrians.

With the new link road in place, buses would no longer need to use Haymarket and Church Gate – paving the way for the potential pedestrianisation of the two streets.

The council has now made the Compulsory Purchase Order (PCO) that – subject to confirmation from the Secretary of State for Transport – will grant it powers to acquire the land and access rights it needs for the scheme.

Letters have been sent to all of those who will be affected by the scheme, advising them of the CPO.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) can only be used as a last resort, but – after three years trying to buy the land through negotiation – we’re ready to go down that route in order to deliver this vital scheme for the city.”

“By creating this new road, we will be able to improve journey times for the thousands of people who use bus services each day and provide a much-improved direct pedestrian link between Leicester’s two bus stations.”

“The new road is supported by the Government’s Local Growth Fund, which means we already have the funds in place to acquire the land and the access rights that we need for this major scheme.”

In order for the CPO to be brought into force, it must first be confirmed by the Secretary of State for Transport. If there are objections to the CPO – which must be submitted to the Secretary of State before 16 February 2018 – a hearing or a public inquiry may be held to consider those objections.

More information about the CPO is available here

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