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Fire Station CPO Rejected

Manchester City Council loses legal row as Pickles rejects London Road fire station CPO

Published on November 29th 2011.

Fire Station CPO Rejected

THE hotly contested legal row over the compulsory purchase order to take the London Road Fire Station off Britannia Hotels has been lost by Manchester City Council.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles rejected the council’s public interest argument that the landmark building needed rescuing by forcing Britannia to sell.

A spokesman for Manchester City Council said: "We are disappointed and surprised at this judgement.

Critics say the council has made the case personal against Britannia owner Alex Langsam; the local authority has not intervened with the same energy to bring forward redevelopment of the Employment Exchange and former Mayfield station in the same area of Piccadilly.

Britannia argued that it has planning permission to turn the fire station building into a four-star hotel. The fire station closed 25 years ago and has been vacant ever since.

The council's legal bill is estimated to be £700,000. A spokesman for Manchester City Council said: "We are disappointed and surprised at this judgement.

“This landmark building has been lying largely empty and disused for a quarter of a century while under Britannia's ownership.

"Our clear and consistent goal throughout this process has been to bring this Grade II-listed building back into use so that it makes a positive contribution to the regeneration of Piccadilly rather than blighting it.

"We note that, as a result of the public inquiry, Britannia have made a public pledge to return London Road Fire Station to use as a high quality hotel as soon as possible. The people of Manchester will hold them to that promise and no one will be more pleased than us if they honour their words.”

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27 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

IzzyNovember 29th 2011.

That's another increase in parking fees on the cards than. Priceless.

AnonymousNovember 29th 2011.

Surprised. Any comment from Britannia yet?

AncoatsNovember 29th 2011.

Pity that .... Maybe time to devote some energy to saving Ancoats Dispensary Council? - £200 000 to secure the structure for medium term - let the Victorian Soc have it and help them save it!


2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 1st 2011.

yeah Urban Splash are another "Britannia" promising the earth and failing to deliver unless theres something in it for them! ie Visible profit. They are ok taking on these old buildings esp the Dispensary, but leaving them to rack and ruin suggests they are just after the land and the freehold ultimately which obviously appreciates quite nicely until such decisions as disposal/demolistion are made, stringent contracts need drawing up and then enforcing to ensure costs dont then fall upon the gullible unwilling taxpayer! Deal with the delapidated gems first like Ancoats Dispensary with its rich tapestry of local history, Shame Bloxham isnt as sentimental being another profiteering southerner eh?

Jeremy SmithDecember 1st 2011.

Visible profit, that's usually the idea as a property developer. Or are we expected to develop at a loss ?

Jonathan SchofieldNovember 29th 2011.

I think this is a poor decision. The building is presently an eyesore and Manchester deserves better. A CPO might have got the wheels in motion in providing a solution to development. The only good news is that if Britannia again do nothing for a long period then they will look perfidious.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
HowieNovember 30th 2011.

I don't think being accused of perfidy will trouble this team!

Reader XxxNovember 30th 2011.

As far as I am led to believe (correct me if I'm wrong), 25 years ago, after the abolition of the GMC (by the previous Conservative government) , the Fire Station was disposed of (by competition) for approx £100k . This was subject to a number of evaluated proposals for its development ( a condition of the sale I would expect). How, after a quarter of a century can the current owners get away with reneging on a contractual undertaking that influenced the knock down purchase price (meaning their ownership was effectively subsidised by the tax payer).

Someone needs to openly go through the original disposal terms and enforce them - or at least make them public - there's a failing somewhere...

AnonymousNovember 29th 2011.

Well they should have a few quid to get started when they get their costs back of the Council or should I say Us

SiNovember 29th 2011.

How on earth did the decision go in favour of Britannia? Would be interested in seeing more detail...

David Michael EvansNovember 30th 2011.

Balloon face Pickles hates Labour controlled councils and would rather support the nasty Britannia hotels

John NuttallNovember 30th 2011.

Pickles has obviously never stayed in a Britannia hotel

Jo StollNovember 30th 2011.

This city is becoming a complete joke.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Jo StollNovember 30th 2011.

Just like the rest of the country

Calum McGNovember 30th 2011.

What else is bothering you?

mab30November 30th 2011.

hey Jo - think you've hit the nail on the head with that remark!

Calum McGNovember 30th 2011.

It won't become a hotel for another 25 years... Fail.

BaggioNovember 30th 2011.

wonder if mr. langsam contributes to the tory party?

AnonymousNovember 30th 2011.

Britania has the website for the fire station with a link to their old proposal


"January 2010 update"

on which they say
"If you feel you can add to our proposals, please let us know by emailing us at:

Would anyone like to try this??

Jean Verity-DoyleNovember 30th 2011.

The council's legal bill is estimated to be £700,000. is it the Council money or Manchesters Council tax payers money. struggling working families, no doubt. I for one wasnt informed of this leagle challenge.

My proposal is dont contest with our money again unless 100% sure of a win.

Jeremy SmithDecember 1st 2011.

What did MCC propose to do with the site if the CPO had gone through ? And would it have incurred further expenditure of Council tax payers money ?

Kevin PeelDecember 1st 2011.

Very disappointed that the government has overruled the council on this. So much for localism. Britannia now need to pull their finger out and develop the site. Sensitively.

AnonymousDecember 1st 2011.

It's a non starter there's nowhere to park

2 Responses: Reply To This...
ShuttyDecember 1st 2011.

Apart from the multi-storey directly across the road.....

AnonymousDecember 2nd 2011.

I don't think your allowed to build unless you have your own parking

Vickie O'DellDecember 1st 2011.

They should make it into apartments, Manchester is in need of more apartments in fantastic locations such as this. There are sooo many hotels being built in and around Manchester surely we won't need anymore?!

AnonymousDecember 2nd 2011.

It probably looks like a Britannia inside anyway. They just need to start charging.....

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