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while there's trouble brewing in Paradise Street for BDP scheme

BDP's massive £750 million plans for the redevelopment of the Paradise Street area of Liverpool - the city's biggest regeneration project to date - have hit the rails as local opposition grows.

Some 42 local landowners have filed official objections to the Compulsory Purchase Orders essential for the scheme, forcing the Government Office for the North West to hold a public inquiry.

The project - launched last Christmas by the Duke of Westminster's development firm Grosvenor - has already been delayed by up to a year, meaning it will miss its completion target of 2007, the city's 800th anniversary.

If the developer wins the inquiry, expected later this year, and the council-backed project goes ahead, it will include a 17ha mixed-use commercial, retail and residential project.

However local firms, including the BBC, have objected, insisting they want to see the project shelved. They complain that the project will cause excessive disruption to their day-to-day business.

BBC Radio Merseyside has issued a statement warning that it will fight the proposals until Grosvenor guarantees its transmissions 'will face no interruption'. Other major companies have also complained about the proposed scheme. It is understood that the Moat House Hotel in Paradise Street has called on the council to scrap the project because it has not been offered a satisfactory replacement building.

However, a Liverpool City Council spokesman said the project was still on track. 'We expected a public inquiry as there were always going to be those who didn't want the project, ' he said.

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