Purchase orders threat as old makes way for new
Mar 22 2008 by Richard Down, Liverpool Daily Post
RETAILERS may be handed compulsory purchase orders to make way for a new shopping complex.
Raven Court, a crumbling 60s shopping complex in Halewood, is the site of more than £15m of investment by Knowsley council.
However, several retail units including newsagents and a Greggs bakers still operate from the run-down shopping centre which is now largely shuttered.
Officially the council says to secure possession of the entire site it will only use its powers of compulsory purchase as a last resort.
The borough is “committed to continuing negotiations with all occupiers at Raven Court to acquire their premises and to minimise the need to CPO”.
However, Helen France, Knowsley’s executive director of regeneration and neighbourhoods, admitted at cabinet: “It’s unlikely that we will get the retail outlets by agreement.
“The proposal here is that we will go through CPO for the more difficult places.
“There is always the possibility of objections and going through inquiry but we are confident that we have a very good case should it come to that.”
Their plans include a supermarket, local shops, a council one-stop shop, a learning centre, room for Knowsley Housing Trust and Citizens’ Advice Bureau.
Next door is a multi-functional public services building which will house three GP surgeries, an out-of-hours treatment centre, a pharmacy and dental services.
This week, a mural produced by the local community was officially unveiled. It is intended to bring the community together to reflect on the past whilst looking forward to the future incorporating a mix of art forms exploring residents’ memories and stories, opinions and views about their local heritage.
Behind the colourful hoardings this first phase of the rebuild has already been built and is undergoing a fit-out. That section should open in October.
Now the council is seeking to identify possible temporary relocation opportunities for various traders.
There have been fears that Halewood will be left without key services if shops are shut and demolished before new ones are built.
But Cllr leader Ron Round has committed the council to supplying a mobile meat service as well as a vegetable truck and further mobile services are now being looked into.
The result will be a retail development with a total floor space in excess of 30,000 square foot. Over half of this will be a supermarket with the remainder providing a range of smaller shop units.
A planning application is expected this month with construction on the retail wing kicking off early next year.