The compulsory purchase of an “eyesore” building in Bristol has moved a step closer, after a potential barrier was removed.
Grosvenor Hotel has been unused for decades, and since 2016 Bristol City Council has battled to try to buy it.
The council was told investors in a project to turn it into flats no longer need to be considered, so a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) can go ahead.
The site will be redeveloped as part of the Temple Quarter business district.
Cabinet members approved a CPO on the property in November 2018.
According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, legal opinion at the time was that the 100 investors into a failed project to turn the building into student flats were considered “unilateral notices against the freehold title of the Grosvenor Hotel”, and needed to be included in the CPO.
The report presented to the cabinet has advised that the “interests protected by the unilateral notices are no longer to be considered interests in land” under legislation.
Work on turning the hotel into flats should have been completed by September 2017, but was never carried out.
An official planning application was not submitted.
Some investors put about £50,000 each into the project, having been told to expect good returns on their money.
Grosvenor Property Developers went into liquidation and is being investigated by the Insolvency Service.
Bristol City Council’s cabinet member for housing, Paul Smith, said he was “pleased to see [the project] moving forward”.
“This is very much a building that has become a blight, and to redevelop the site is really important for the regeneration of that part of central Bristol,” he said.
Plans were unveiled earlier this year for the council to turn the site into a “public plaza”.