Sunday, 16 September 2007

Sea Stores development could be held up

The Highways Agency put an advert in the local papers recently trying to identify previous owners of the Sea Stores site. It was bought during the Second World War. If land has been bought by compulsory purchase - or the threat of it - it has to be offered back to the previous owners or their successors at current market value.

Part of the land was owned by the Newmans, and one of the family has now come forward. The Gazette reports that another part was owned by an electrical company that has stopped trading (Could this be another part of Newmans? Or could someone else come out of the woodwork?)

A third portion was owned by a council that has now been succeeded by South Glos, who don't seem to be interested in having it back. But should they be interested? Is there a potential profit that could be used for improving local facilities?

It's a case of "watch this space" - but we have to ask why the Highways Agency didn't investigate this earlier. It's very likely to hold up the redevelopment of the site for a short while, and could even jeopardise the careful negotiations about the layout of the new development. Or maybe it could result in something more advantageous for the local community going there?

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