Council looks to government to speed up work on its Middlehaven project

AMBITIOUS PLANS: The Gateway which is part of Middlesbrough Council's Middlehaven project.

AMBITIOUS PLANS: The Gateway which is part of Middlesbrough Council's Middlehaven project.

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

A COUNCIL is looking for government permission to issue compulsory purchase orders (CPO) for the last remaining homes and buildings on their flagship development site.

Middlesbrough Council needs to buy the remaining land and properties so it can complete the next phase of its urban renewal at Middlehaven.

The 100-hectare site has attracted more than £150m in investment through the development of Middlesbrough College campus, new office space, homes, leisure facilities, bars and restaurants.

Further investment of more than £60m is planned in the area including Middlesbrough College’s Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) centre, Boho Five and a major new supermarket development.

To complete the next phase the council is asking permission from the Homes and Communities Agency to acquire the remaining land, five residential properties and four commercial premises.

To date more than 180 households have been voluntarily relocated, with just five left to purchase.

Alongside residential purchases, more than 40 largely redundant and semi-derelict commercial buildings have been acquired, with only four remaining. The acquired buildings have largely been demolished with the sites being brought forward for redevelopment.

As the council looks to move on with the project it is looking for the CPO to speed up the process.

Councillor Charlie Rooney, the council’s executive member for regeneration, said: “Middlehaven is changing the face of Middlesbrough, and is already playing a major role in the town’s economic success.

“That’s why it is essential that we continue to take a pro-active approach to its redevelopment as a mixed-use site which will enhance the physical, social and environmental fabric of the town as a whole.

“For that to succeed we must complete the acquisition programme, which will free up a number of sites and give developers the assurance they need to take Middlehaven on to the next exciting phase in its evolution.”

The council says that if the order is confirmed by the Secretary of State (DCLG), dependent on any objections and a possible public inquiry, it is envisaged that ownership of the remaining properties is likely to pass to the Council in late summer/autumn 2015.

A copy of the order, plans and statement of reasons will be available at the Civic Centre during normal office hours and also on the council's website at www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=2140

Anyone wishing to oppose the CPO must lodge their objection by Monday, September 1, 2014. All representations must be made in writing and sent directly to the Secretary of State.

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