Compulsory Purchase Order approved for land in controversial Taylor Wimpey development at Stott Lane
Date published: 14 July 2017
Taylor Wimpey - Hollin Lane plan
A Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) was approved at the Cabinet meeting on 26 June to acquire land at Stott Lane in Middleton.
Stott Lane passes through the development site near Hollin and Langley Lanes where a controversial new development for 205 houses was granted planning permission subject to conditions in March:
Developed by Taylor Wimpey, the site would also require roads, a cycleway and public open space. The CPO applies to two small areas of land forming part of Stott Lane. The purchase of this land would enable the developers to construct a road and the cycleway.
Taylor Wimpey have requested the CPO under the Highways Act 1980, as the owner(s) of the freehold of either part of land has not yet been identified. Currently, the developer is not able to dedicate these sites as a public highway as they do not own the freehold.
The development has been faced with objections, and the acquisition of land through a CPO is no different.
Resident Keeley O’Mara said: “I have been raising issues direct to Rochdale Council regarding Stott Lane for many years. I've been told they don't own it so can't do anything. Yet here we are with a CPO to allow a developer to access. Surely this should have been addressed at the outline application stage when discussing highways/access?
"Also to put an access road to a development over a TfGM traffic free route is madness. On top of that the horse riders using it, what does the future hold for Stott Lane in regards to the multi users?”
The CPO outlines: “If the Order Land is not acquired and subsequently adopted as public highway, it will leave responsibility for the maintenance and management of some estate roads serving the Development with a management company and/or the future residents. It is clearly in the public interest for all of the roads to be public highway, maintainable by the local highway authority, as this will ensure that the roads are built and maintained to the appropriate standard, and that they become part of the local highway network.”
It was recommended that Cabinet approve the CPO for acquiring the land, and if required, authorise the Director of Legal Governance and Workforce to acquire by agreement the land in question.
It was further recommended that Cabinet authorise the Director of Legal Governance and Workforce to: negotiate and agree an indemnity agreement (all costs to be covered by Taylor Wimpey), settle the final form and content of the Purchase Order and associated documents, implement CPO powers following confirmation and acquire title to the land.
The recommendations were proposed as such to allow the construction of the road and cycleway.
A CPO should only be made where there is a compelling case in the public interest, and should only be promoted where such public interest outweighs the interference with the rights of those affected.
The Cabinet agenda considers the public benefits associated with enabling all of the roads serving the Development dedicated as public highway, and the creation of a publicly-adopted and maintainable high-quality cycle link, would meet these guidelines.
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