Bid to rid town of Crossways eyesore takes giant leap forward

Councillors with sledge hammers at development site

Crossways demolition step closer as councillors move in! - Credit: Submitted

The long-awaited plan to rid Paignton town centre of one of its biggest eyesores has at last taken a major step forward.

The Planning Inspectorate has confirmed that Torbay Council has been successful in obtaining a compulsory purchase order on the derelict Crossways shopping precinct.

The decision now paves the way for the council to achieve the communities’ ambition to see the site regenerated.  

The CPO decision stated ‘that there is a compelling case in the public interest, which weighs substantially in favour of confirming the Order’,.

It follows other recent good news. In September of this year, Gaelic Investments who purchased the site in 2009 agreed the terms under the CPO. In addition, the remaining objection on the CPO was withdrawn prior to a Public Inquiry hearing. 

Redevelopment plans were granted planning permission in February 2021 and will see around  90 extra care and sheltered housing units developed with commercial space retained on the ground floor for businesses.  

Before work physically starts on site, a number of legal steps need to be followed. Once the council formally publishes the notice confirming the order, which is expected to be in early November, there is then a six-week challenge period, followed by reasonable notice being given to the existing tenants of Crossways. It is not envisaged the council will have full vacant possession of the site until spring 2022.  

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Darren Cowell, council deputy leader and cabinet member for finance,  said; “We are delighted to receive this news. Following a lot of hard work, this latest milestone moves us even closer to achieving our regeneration ambition for Paignton"

Cllr Swithin Long, cabinet member for economic regeneration, tourism and housing, said; “This is fantastic news for the residents of Paignton who have been waiting a long time for the site to be demolished and redeveloped."