Croydon council is 'on the verge' of seizing land at Croydon Gateway in south London to take forward Michael Aukett Architects' much-maligned project there, the AJ has learned.
According to the architect, there are 'a couple' of conditions for it to deal with before the local authority can wrest control of the site from its major landowner, Stanhope.
It is anticipated that the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) procedure can move forward swiftly and it is thought that this could happen as early as next year.
The Croydon project has been beset by a variety of political problems throughout its turbulent history. Aukett's scheme has the backing of the council, but developer Stanhope owns the majority of the land.
Stanhope is trying to take forward a rival application spearheaded by Foster and Partners. It is likely that the developer, led by seasoned property professional Stuart Lipton, would legally contest any CPO (AJ 08.01.04).
The council has previously criticised Stanhope's proposals on the quality of its design. The local authority claimed that Stanhope's plans were not a 'comprehensive redevelopment of the Croydon Gateway site'.
The local authority also stated that the developer's planning application 'fails to demonstrate that the proposed development would provide landmark buildings of high quality design and originality' (AJ 03.08.05). by Rob Sharp