The biggest Compulsory Purchase Order in Birmingham for more than a decade has been drawn up to trigger the start of the £600 million redevelopment of New Street Station.
All properties on the 14-acre site including the Pallasades shopping centre are covered by the document which, if approved by the Government, will allow the city council to acquire the land it needs to deliver the new-look station by 2014.
It is the largest operation of its kind since CPOs were issued to buy land for the Bullring in 1999.
The council was keen to stress last night that it hoped to reach agreement about compensation with most of the New Street property owners and would not have to resort to compulsorily purchasing land and buildings.
Director of regeneration Clive Dutton described the CPO as a “last resort” which would provide the council with a legal framework to make sure the New Street Gateway project was delivered on time.
Mr Dutton said negotiations with Warner Estates, owners of the Pallasades, were continuing and he was hopeful of reaching agreement about the number of retail units in the shopping centre that would have to be demolished to make way for New Street’s airport-style passenger concourses.
“If we can achieve something that is mutually acceptable, that is fine. But the next stage is the start of a formal process,” Mr Dutton added.
The CPO covers 90 retail units in the Pallasades, Stephenson Tower flats and shops in the station itself.
A public inquiry will be held early next year, with a final decision to be taken by the Secretary of State. Mr Dutton added: “This is a clear signal that this major regeneration scheme is proceeding. It is a significant milestone.
“The project is moving forward and it is on-programme.”
He said the station scheme, which will more than double passenger capacity, should be seen in the context of other large construction programmes including the extension of the Birmingham International Airport runway, the new civic library in Centenary Square and the Selly Oak super hospital.
Mr Dutton added: “The fact that major public infrastructure projects are going ahead in Birmingham should reassure investors that this is a city where they should certainly be.”
The council has revised upwards the number of new jobs likely to be created by the Gateway scheme, from 5,000 to 11,000. The new figure includes construction jobs and new employment flowing from the “ripple effect” of a huge city centre regeneration scheme.
Mr Dutton said he expected to announce next month the name of the architect.