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Highways’ plan to stop land owners ‘holding A50 project to ransom’

By UttoxeterPostandTimes.3522974.UttoxeterPostandTimes  |  Posted: April 15, 2014

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COMPLUSORY purchase orders will be launched by highways chiefs to buy all the land they need to redevelop the A50 around Uttoxeter.

Project boss Steve Burrows said Staffordshire Council would try to acquire the land, belonging to Uttoxeter families and businesses, through negotiation.

But he also confirmed compulsory purchase orders would be filed for all the relevant sites so they are already in place if negotiations with land owners break down.

Mr Burrows, the council’s commissioner for business and enterprise, said the orders would be implemented on the 12 landowners affected by the first part of the redevelopment - Project A.

He said: “Negotiations with the land owners concerned are going really well and we’re determined tocome to mutual agreements to purchase this land.

“But compulsory purchase orders, which owners will get a fair market price for their properties, will be set up in the background should any negotiations fail.

“Some people might think they can hold the project to ransom by holding out for inflated prices or have different ideas to ours about valuation,

“But we have a duty to tax payers to deliver the project at as reasonable a price as we can and the orders will allow us to ensure we get the land we need.”

Project A involves the installation of a new grade-separated junction to service a forthcoming 700-home development on land west of Uttoxeter.

A formal planning application for Project A will be entered within weeks and it is hoped construction will start later this year.

It was recently modified to work around The Parks to keep the previously-under-threat restaurant open.

Project B will see the McDonald’s and Derby Road roundabouts replaced by grade-separated junctions.

Across both projects, 37 businesses and scores of families will lose land to make way for the junctions and new three-lane carriageways.

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