Orders withdrawn to buy compulsory land for multi-million pound Elland bypass bridge scheme

It is more usual for councils to approve compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) in case they are needed to secure land for capital projects such as highway improvements than withdraw them.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 7:00 am

But Calderdale Council’s Cabinet did the latter when it met this week and agreed to withdraw a number of previously approved CPOs relating to the ambitious multi-million pound A629 scheme, including at Salterhebble, Halifax.

Cabinet member for Regeneration and Strategy, Coun Jane Scullion (Lab, Luddenden Foot) said the paper was atechnical one and slightly unusual as Cabinet were normally being asked to approve CPOs, not withdraw them.

The council had a good track record of successfully negotiating purchases of land, she said, adding that sometimes these were for tiny slivers of land.

Artist impression of the A629 phase Ib scheme, elland bypass (picture Pell Frischmann)
Artist impression of the A629 phase Ib scheme, elland bypass (picture Pell Frischmann)

Cabinet was being asked to withdraw the orders in order to try and avoid a potentially expensive public inquiry.

Voluntary negotiation has largely been successful for the plots, and negotiations are very advanced to secure the remaining plots, said the briefing papers to councillors.

Notwithstanding this progress, the process of examining a composite CPO by Public Inquiry has now been instigated by the Secretary of State and is due to be held at some time before September 22 – unless either objections to the CPO, or the CPO itself, are withdrawn.

This CPO is now not seen as necessary and it is therefore considered appropriate to withdraw this and avoid the costs of a public inquiry, councillors were told.

It is recognised that a decision to withdraw the orders could be challenged by a single remaining non-statutory objector by applying for Judicial Review, but council officers considered it unlikely this would happen.

The A629 scheme as a whole aims to improve the main highway between Huddersfield and Halifax and bring improvements to Halifax town centre, including reducing journey time, developing sustainable alternative methods of transport, making the town more visitor friendly and unlocking new development and job creation.

Objectors will be notified of Cabinet’s decision to agree the orders be wirthdrawn.

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