Council backs order for Victoria revamp

Westminster City Council has agreed to support a compulsory purchase order (CPO) to ensure that the £1 billion regeneration of the Victoria area goes ahead.

"We all accept that Victoria is not currently fitting as part of a world-class city. It desperately needs this redevelopment, which will see the area radically revamped with a new library and the creation of much-needed open space," council leader Colin Barrow said.

But he stressed that agreement will be sought with local businesses before proceeding with a CPO. "The move is a last resort and we hope that this commitment will mean less chance of the area being blighted by indecision. No businesses should be worse off as a result of this vital redevelopment."

The scheme, which was granted planning permission in February, will provide 82,000m2 of office space and 205 flats and will create an estimated 8,500 jobs in the area. Developer Land Securities has agreed to cover the local authority's costs in acquiring key properties that could delay the work.

The company's head of development for London Colette O'Shea commented: "We are delighted that the city council continues to support this important scheme. The opportunity for significant regeneration of the area is now one step further forward."

She added: "Working in partnership with Westminster, we will be able to progress our vision for Victoria, bringing economic and social benefits to the community."

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