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Licet presses ahead with Nautilus rival as lawyers report council CPo would be 'huge risk' for taxpayer
DEVELOPERS hoping to build a £50million leisure scheme in Bournemouth are pressing ahead, claiming the council has “no chance” of buying the site from under them.
Licet Holdings Ltd has taken the next step in its plan to build West Central on an NCP car park in Exeter Road, despite the fact Bournemouth council is attempting to get a compulsory purchase order for the site.
The privately-funded cinema and restaurant scheme has planning permission and the backing of site owner NCP but the council wants to buy the land for a bus hub, saying it is the only suitable site in the town centre.
Undeterred, Licet has now submitted the official “pre-commencement planning conditions dis-charge notice” to the council, which should be signed off in around eight weeks Chris Dymond, director of Licet Holdings, said: “We’ve sought advice from one of the UK’s top Queen’s Counsel, a leading expert in planning and CPO matters.
“He has very clearly confirmed the view that a CPO has no chance of success and in fact would be at huge financial risk and cost to beleaguered local taxpayers and council funds.
“It is certainly not affecting our commitment to the scheme, nor the enthusiasm of the operators.
“With all major developments, vested interests can arise at any time and as experienced developers we fully understand that.
“We’re unwavering in our continued plan to work closely and professionally with the council to bring a new attraction that helps secure Bournemouth’s right-ful place as the leading destination on the south coast.”
Mr Dymond said they had “overwhelming support” from leisure operators, with the initial release of units all signed up and a growing waiting list of other operators.
Roger Ball, director of environmental and technical services, said: “The current NCP site at Exeter Road has been identified as the most suitable for a much-needed bus hub in Bournemouth.
“There are ongoing discussions with NCP and any compulsory purchase order will only be used as a last resort.”
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