A new railway station is still on track to open next year, even though the authorities don’t yet own all the required land.
Bradford Council and transport authority Metro are working together on the station planned for Low Moor, which is scheduled to open in December, 2015. But they still need to buy two plots of land to accommodate the Halifax-bound platform on the south side of the railway line.
While one sale is now being finalised, a new Council report reveals the owner of the other plot has so far “declined to engage” with the authorities.
So they have a back-up plan – forcing the owner to sell them the land under a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO).
Before they go down that route, the Council and Metro have appointed land agents Lambert Smith Hamilton to try to negotiate a sale on the open market.
The report says landowner Kelvic has gone into receivership and the receiver, GVA Grimley, has put the land in question up for sale. Bradford Council’s executive member for planning and transport, Councillor Val Slater, said they had put an offer in and were waiting to see whether it would be accepted.
She said: “The rules are, we do have to make an offer before we go to compulsory purchase.
“We hope they accept our offer, but if not then we will go for compulsory purchase. We don’t want any more delays.”
The report says extra money has been set aside as part of the scheme, just in case the CPO is needed.
It says this would remove the risk of the project being delayed if the landowner were to “refuse to sell or attempt to ransom the scheme”.
A CPO is a legal power that allows certain bodies to obtain land or property without the consent of the owner.
It can be used if a proposed development is considered to be of benefit to the public, but a landowner won’t sell.
A planning application was submitted for the railway station last month. A decision is expected in 13 weeks. The report will be discussed by the Council’s Environment and Waste Management Overview and Scrutiny Committee today.