West Berkshire Council will be quizzed about plans for the controversial London Road Industrial Estate redevelopment this week and asked whether it will force businesses to sell up and leave the site.

At a meeting on Thursday, September 3, Ian Hall will ask the council’s Executive about the potential use of compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) and whether affected business owners will be offered “replacement premises”.

Long-standing plans for the ambitious redevelopment in Newbury and a new draft development brief will also be discussed at Thursday’s meeting.

Last week, the council announced that plans for the redevelopment had taken a big step forward after consultants at Avison Young completed the draft development brief, which says the site could be redeveloped in one comprehensive project or in phases.

The brief says the council owns the majority of the 25 acre estate and is “in a strong position to help and encourage redevelopment” but several businesses have signed long-term leases and this could “curtail its ability to deliver new development”.

It also states that the council may need to consider using CPOs, to obtain property without the consent of the leaseholders, but this is a “costly process” and it “should only be used as a last resort”.

READ MORE: Plans to transform London Road Industrial Estate back on track

According to the brief, one comprehensive development “will require the use of CPOs across the majority of the estate” and a phased development “may require the use of CPOs on some individual parcels” of land.

Up to 544 homes, 6,023 sqm of office space and 6,690 sqm of space for other businesses could be built on the site as part of one comprehensive development.

While a phased development could provide up to 280 homes, 3,473 sqm of office space and 5,400 sqm of space for other businesses.

West Berkshire Council sparked a backlash in 2018 when it evicted Newbury Football Club from their ground in Faraday Road to make way for the redevelopment.

The council says it is “looking at options to build a new football facility in the Newbury area” and it will reopen the abandoned Faraday Road ground as “recreational space for community use” in spring 2021, until the regeneration gets underway.

It has been looking to redevelop London Road Industrial Estate for over 15 years and build homes, state-of-the art-offices and industrial space.

The project suffered a major setback in 2018, when the Court of Appeal ruled the council had breached EU law by failing to follow the correct procurement process when it appointed St Modwen Plc as the developer.

But the Conservative-run council refused to scrap the project and commissioned Avison Young to draw up a development brief.

According to the brief, the council is aiming to transform London Road Industrial Estate into a “vibrant, successful and diverse neighbourhood where people will want to live, work and visit” by 2030.