Council chiefs set to make Compulsory Purchase Order to drive through Â£100m South Shields regeneration bid
Councillors in South Tyneside are being asked to make a Compulsory Purchase Order to help drive through the latest stage of a Â£100m town centre regeneration project.
South Tyneside Council's Cabinet will be urged to rubber-stamp the order when its meets next Wednesday.
The authority says the order is required to allow for progress on Phases Two and Three of the multi-million pound 365 overhaul for South Shields, which will provide a new transport interchange and retail and leisure developments built in the heart of the town centre.
The Compulsory Purchase Order will be decided by the Secretary of State following a Public Inquiry, chaired by an independent inspector, should objections be received.
Members will be told that the Council and its acquisition advisors, Sanderson Weatherall, have been in regular contact with affected landowners and occupiers and almost half of the land needed has already been acquired.
However, it is unlikely that the remainder can be secured through negotiation.
Councillor John Anglin, Lead Member for Regeneration and Economy, said: “With the 365 Vision coming to life before our eyes, it is important that we maintain momentum on this transformational project.
“While we would have preferred to secure this land through negotiation, it has not been possible in all cases.
“We appreciate the importance of businesses staying within the town centre and are actively working to identify alternative premises or development opportunities for those businesses displaced by the regeneration."
The 365 masterplan aims to transform the economic landscape of the borough.
Among the landmark attractions is the National Centre for the Written Word, which,is set to open later this year.
The building will boast an impressive range of facilities including exhibition space, computer gaming area, design and innovation studio with 3D printers, digitised archives, meeting rooms, children's immersive storytelling area, OpenZone IT suite, café and a rooftop restaurant and terrace providing stunning views over the river.
Work on the nearby Market Place is almost complete to make it a civic space fit for the 21st century where events and activities will take place.
Next year will also see the start of preparatory works on site for the new Transport Interchange which will house both the metro and bus concourse.
The development will provide a far more striking point of arrival to the town and improve connectivity between the various parts of South Shields.