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Torbay set to compulsory purchase run-down shopping centre

Torbay Council has voted to compulsory purchase the Crossways Shopping Centre in Paignton, as part of its plans to regenerate the town centre.

Councillors met last week to discuss a report on the future of the shopping centre, which stated that buying the site ‘is necessary to facilitate regeneration’, which ‘has not been progressed by the landowner’.

In a statement, the council said the aim was to develop the land as an ‘attractive retail, residential and employment space’.

‘The project also aims to improve connectivity for residents and provide a rejuvenated tourist destination,’ the statement adds.

According to the council report, the shopping centre site is currently owned by Gaelic Investments, who bought it in 2009 for £1.86m.

It adds that negotiations between the council and Gaelic Investments about the regeneration of the site carried up until earlier this year, but there is ‘no indication of any redevelopment proposals being actively pursued’ by the owners.

‘To ensure the site is appropriately redeveloped, the council is, therefore, now proposing to take the lead in the redevelopment of the site through its compulsory purchase powers,’ the report states.

‘In parallel with this, the council will restart negotiations with Gaelic Investments, and the remaining tenants of the order land, with the intention of acquiring all interests by private treaty where practicable.

The report states the cost of redeveloping the site is around £22.5m, which will come from a variety of grants and ‘prudential borrowing’.

It also states the council has already committed £100,000 towards feasibility studies.

The council will have to seek confirmation from central government about the compulsory purchase order.

‘The council has considered the best way to bring the order land forward for regeneration and has determined that, given the history of this site and that landowner proposals for regeneration have not demonstrated any meaningful progress, authority should be sought for compulsory powers to acquire this site to facilitate regeneration,’ the report adds.

Photo Credit – MaxMann (Pixabay)

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