COLCHESTER Council looked into the prospect of compulsory purchasing the derelict former home of the town’s old Odeon cinema, a top councillor has said.
Communities, wellbeing and public safety boss Mike Lilley revealed the authority had explored the idea after becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of movement on the site.
The council has issued Blumarble with another Section 215 notice in relation to the Crouch Street premises, where plans for 57 apartments have stalled due to issues over financial viability.
Council bosses want to see further remedial works to the top section of the premises, which has become derelict after being empty for 18 years.
Stormy weather has blown some of the hoarding surrounding the premises to the ground – leading to fears of the area being unsafe.
Mr Lilley (Lab, Old Heath and Hythe) said: “There is an issue because they are going to have to bring in scaffolding and there may be a road closure needed.
“As a council we looked to see if we could compulsory purchase it off the owner so we could do something with it because we are fed up of it.
“But the money involved is far too much for us to pay.”
The long-awaited £10 million redevelopment of the grade-II listed building hit the rocks in 2018 when Blumarble admitted its plans were no longer financially viable…