The developer behind Allies and Morrison's controversial £100 million Silver Hill scheme in Winchester is gearing up for battle with some of the UK's biggest companies as it begins the compulsory purchase of properties across the site.
Thornfield Properties was granted planning permission for Winchester City Council's (WCC) 15,000m2
scheme last month, after local opponents had forced a redesign (Allies and Morrison to rethink Winchester scheme in face of local pressure
Now Thornfield and WCC face perhaps their toughest battle as Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) beginning dropping through the letterboxes of major firms including Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury's and developer London & Henley.
WCC chief estates officer, Tony Langridge, said that although only half of the site was already under Thornfield's control, he was confident that ongoing negotiations would 'ensure that the scheme was not ransomed'.
'We have been in discussions with these firms for the last four to five years and have a provision to relocate a Sainsbury's supermarket and a Marks & Spencer. London and Henley has property interests and it is keen to maintain the value of its investments.'
Allies and Morrison associate Vicky Thornton said: 'We were not surprised to receive planning permission and we don't have any reason for believing anything other than that the CPO process will be straightforward'.
It is expected the CPO process will take at least a year to complete.by Max Thompson