Owners of houses standing in the way of Warwickshire County Cricket Club’s £30 million ground improvement plan look set to be forced out of their homes.
Birmingham City Council is ready to ask the government to approve a Compulsory Purchase Order, allowing the club to buy 12 properties in Pershore Road.
Most of the buildings are empty, but three remain occupied and the club has been unable to reach an agreement to purchase the houses.
WCC officials want the land for a development alongside the ground improvement plan – building 250 flats and houses, offices and hotel.
But the proposal infuriated neighbourhood forums, who failed in a high court bid to stop Warwickshire’s scheme.
Edgbaston city councillor Deirdre Alden said it was wrong that residents could be “forced out” of their homes.
Coun Alden (Con) added: “The cricket club’s proposed development is far too intensive and the traffic problems caused by the occupants of the flats and houses, not to mention the offices and hotel, will be horrendous.”
Fellow Edgbaston Tory councillor James Hutchings said he reluctantly accepted the Compulsory Purchase Order was necessary in order to “serve the larger public benefit” of modernising the stadium and making sure Birmingham continues to host Test match cricket.
But he hit out at the club’s conduct: “It has been a very fraught issue made worse by Warwickshire’s megaphone diplomacy, failing to treat people with respect and failing to give them even the most basic information to enable them to form an opinion.”
WCC chief executive Colin Povey said: “We have had several good meetings with the residents’ liaison group set up to cover the stadium development.
“Of the three remaining properties on Pershore Road, I believe that two land owners would be happy to enter negotiations, but one owner has indicated she doesn’t want to sell at any cost.
“We are trying to progress this as sensibly and sensitively as we can.”