TWO Grantham firms were given their marching orders this week as local authorities seek to begin the Station Approach redevelopment.
Builders merchant Jewson and tyre and service centre Tanvic have each been issued with a compulsory purchase order (CPO) which allows Lincolnshire County Council to legally obtain the land on which they sit in Wharf Road.
The Station Approach redevelopment is part of the Grantham Growth Point project, led by LCC and South Kesteven District Council.
It is hoped the site will be transformed into retail units, a hotel, a business innovation centre and new homes on a four hectare site, with a pedestrian boulevard connecting the train station to the town centre.
Malcolm Williamson, property manager for Jewson parent company Saint-Gobain Building Distribution, said they are “not very happy” with being handed a CPO.
He added: “We are looking for alternative premises and are in discussions with the county council in relation to the order itself. We’ve been dealing with it fairly amicably up until now.
“We will be lodging a complaint. We’re not rolling over.”
If the CPOs are successful, the local authority hopes to take possession of the land early next year.
Project managers told the Journal this week that the orders were a “last resort” after attempts to reach an agreement with the firms were unsuccessful.
Paul Wheatley, head of regeneration at LCC, said: “We have been negotiating with Jewson and Tanvic for some time to find a mutually acceptable way forward, including trying to find them alternative premises.
“Unfortunately these discussions have so far been unsuccessful and although we still hope to reach agreements, we do need to prepare for the worst-case scenario of compulsory purchase.
“Both sites are key to successful re-development of the Station Approach area. It’s an opportunity Grantham cannot afford to miss and will mean new jobs, new investment and a user-friendly route between the train station and the town centre.”
Councillor Frances Cartwright, SKDC portfolio holder for economic development, added: “We see re-development of the Station Approach as vital for the future of Grantham. When this project is complete everyone will see how serious we are in our aspirations to improve employment prospects in Grantham.”
The Journal was unable to gain a comment from Tanvic at the time of going to press yesterday afternoon (Thursday).
l Any objection to the order must be made in writing to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government before June 15, 2012. The Secretary of State will decide whether to uphold or refuse the CPO.