Agenda item

"Kodak" Wealdstone Footbridge - Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) Process Initiation

Report of the Corporate Director, Community.



Having noted the confidential appendices to the officer report, Cabinet




(1)            the Corporate Director of Community be authorised to negotiate with landowners (freehold owners and leasehold owners) and to acquire through private treaty the Property;


(2)            the making of a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) be authorised in respect of the Property shown edged red on the attached plan at paragraph 2.6 to the officer report (also at Appendix 1) only if an agreement via negotiations cannot be reached;


(3)            the Corporate Director of Community following consultation with the Portfolio Holder, Environment & Climate Change, the Director of Legal & Governance and the Director of Finance & Section 151 Officer be authorised to:


·       carry out work in making of a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) after considering the full Environmental Impact Assessment;


·       appoint, if necessary, land referencers to review all interests in the Property and produce a draft schedule and plan for the CPO;


·       serve request for information notices under section S16 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 on those potentially affected by the proposed CPO;


·       issue and sign the order, notices and certificates in connection with the making, confirmation and implementation of the CPO;


·       to defend any proceedings challenging these decisions, and the making, confirmation or implementation of the Order or any notice, general vesting declaration etc. made pursuant to the Order;


·       to initiate or take part in any arbitration or proceedings before the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) or the Courts in order to resolve any disputes as to compensation payable in respect of third-party proprietary interests in the Property;


·       issue notices of entry to survey or value land under the Housing and Planning Act 2016 if required and obtain any warrants from the Magistrates Court for the purpose of such entry if considered necessary;


·       make General Vesting Declarations (“GVD”) under the Compulsory Purchase (Vesting Declarations) Act 1981 and/or serve Notices to Treat and Notices of Entry following confirmation of the CPO if required;


·       issue and serve any warrants to obtain possession of any land acquired by the Council following execution of a GVD or service of a notice of entry if it is considered appropriate to do so; and


·       use the funding received from Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and the £1.76m from Borough CIL on the construction and CPO process.


Reason for Decision:  Capital expenditure likely to be near or greater than 500K.  Funding had been secured from Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities by way of Future High Street Fund (FHSF) to construct the Kodak Footbridge.  There were five parcels of land that need to be purchased.  Negotiations were still ongoing with the landowners to acquire the Property.  In addition to the construction costs there would be associated costs with regards to legal fees, Counsel’s fees, Land referencing fees and compensation for the businesses and landowners.  The costs would be funded from the FHSF.  The construction of the Kodak Footbridge, the CPO and all associated costs were unlikely to exceed £8.9m that included the contingency allowance, which was made up from the funding provided by the FHSF of £7.4m plus £1.76m from the Borough CIL to construct the Footbridge and Intelligent High Street project.  The CPO process must begin by January 2022 to meet the FHSF requirements to build the footbridge by early 2024 otherwise funding to complete the project may be withdrawn.  The CPO process could take up to 18 months and would be used as a further negotiating tool.


The Planning application for the bridge was submitted on 04.10.2021 and would be put before the planning committee in March 2022.  There were no perceived impediments preventing a satisfactory outcome. 


Alternative Options Considered and Rejected:  As set out in the report.


Conflict of Interest relating to the matter declared by Cabinet Member/Dispensation Granted:  None.

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