London Road Fire Station is a Grade II* listed property that has been largely disused and vacant since 1986. The building was placed on English Heritage’s buildings at risk register in 2001.The property is integral to the wider regeneration of the Piccadilly area. The Station is currently owned by Britannia Centres Limited (BCL) who gained planning permission in 2010 for a 227 bed hotel.
In 2010 the Council sought to use CPO powers to acquire the site, as no works had been undertaken. The CPO was ultimately rejected after BCL gave assurances at the subsequent Public Inquiry and a guarantee to proceed with redevelopment.
Three years further on there has still been no work undertaken on the property and the assurances that structural surveys would be undertaken within 12 weeks of the Inquiry have not been commenced. BCL advised English Heritage in 2012 that the proposed scheme was unsuitable for the foreseeable future.
In an effort to bring this site forward for development Manchester City Council will now seek to get a new Compulsory Purchase Order, unless it receives written confirmation from BCL that it will enter into a legally-binding implementation agreement to act on its existing planning permission for the building.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “London Road Fire Station is a wonderful landmark building with the potential to make a significant contribution to the regeneration of the Piccadilly area.”
“We are giving them one last chance but they need to act quickly to take it.”