04:13PM, Thursday 21 November 2019
Slough Borough Council is planning to use Compulsory Purchase Order powers to take control of the last remaining flat at a tower block awaiting redevelopment.
Tower House and Ashbourne House, in Burlington Avenue, has been earmarked for an overhaul since 2015.
In July, councillors approved plans to replace the two 11-storey blocks with 193 homes, priced at Slough Living Rent levels.
It has since been working to reach agreements with the remaining occupants but the council said one leaseholder in Ashbourne House has refused to budge, despite receiving ‘fair and reasonable offers’.
Councillors met on Monday at the council’s headquarters in Windsor Road to discuss proceeding with a Compulsory Purchase Order.
John Griffiths, the council’s lead for housing development, said: “Out of the leaseholders left, we came to a negotiated settlement of a fair and reasonable offer.
“The remaining leaseholder received this offer and even an enhanced offer in order to facilitate an amicable outcome.
“I cannot comment on this person’s motivation but I would strongly advise they reflect on our last offer made on Friday.”
A Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) is a legal measure which allows certain bodies to take control of land or property without the owner’s consent.
Tom Barton, from the law firm Mishcon de Reya, working on behalf of the council, told the meeting: “It may seem like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut using a CPO for this single leaseholder but the fact is the process is just as involved and the tests are just as high for a single leaseholder as for an entire estate.
“There’s a drawn out process that needs to be gone through because we’ll be depriving an individual of their human rights to hold property.”
Cabinet agreed to proceed with the CPO.
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