WNDC starts waterside land acquisition
West Northamptonshire Development Corporation has started using its specialist legal powers to support new development in the Northampton Enterprise Zone.
Covering brownfield land along the River Nene, the St Peter’s Waterside scheme could eventually include up to 40,000 sq m of office space, creating thousands of new jobs. To support the development, WNDC has formally commenced a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) – a legal power that allows them to acquire land without the owner’s consent.
The CPO has been submitted to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, while notices have been served on the current owners of the land. It is the second CPO that the government regeneration body has commenced in the Enterprise Zone.
Announced by Government in August 2011, the Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone covers 120 hectares of predominantly Brownfield land along the River Nene. It is led by the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), and aims to build on local strengths in high performance technologies.
Chris Garden, WNDC’s Director of Regeneration said: “The redevelopment of St Peter’s Waterside is one of WNDC’s key priorities. This Compulsory Purchase Order will support our plans to regenerate the area, breathing new life into underused land along the River Nene and creating new jobs.
“Together with the local authorities, it is just one of the exciting town centre schemes we’re helping to deliver, which range from the new Castle Railway Station to the expansion of the Grosvenor Centre”
The CPO covers land between the site of the recently approved Innovation Centre and the town centre gasholders. WNDC has already acquired a significant amount of land in the area, including the residential properties on Tanner St. However, the Order is designed to acquire small areas of land in unknown ownership, as well as the site of the old Malthouse on St Peter’s Way, which was demolished by the current landowners in 2007 and has been vacant ever since.
The CPO does not include the town centre gasholders, which are owned by National Grid and technically still operational. A final decision by the Secretary of State is anticipated by the end of the year.