A CRUCIAL parcel of land set to play a key part in providing housing for the Chichester District has been under scrutiny.
The strategic development site in Tangmere has been earmarked for development in Chichester District Council’s draft local plan. But there is an ongoing disagreement between the landowners about the value of the land.
At a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, councillors agreed to use its compulsory purchase powers – meaning the council would use its reserves to buy the land.
“If we have to withdraw the site we would delay the local plan process,” said councillor Heather Caird, leader of the council.
“It would be a serious step if we did have to use compulsory purchase powers.”
A report by the development plan panel said: “Unless these disagreements can be resolved in negotiations between parties, the use of compulsory purchase powers would be necessary in order to avoid having to withdraw this site from the draft local plan and identify an alternative site.”
If the purchase went ahead, the council would need to demonstrate that it would be prepared to exercise the powers at a public examination.
The development panel has been advised that it would be necessary to obtain preliminary specialist advice to exercise the powers – which will cost £20,000.
The money will come from the Chichester District Council reserves. Councillors agreed to the recommendation.
The second consultation of the draft local plan took place this summer.
The final local plan is expected to be submitted to the secretary of state next year.