Original Message -----
From: Paul Andrews
Cc: Lindsay Burr ; John Clark
Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2007 11:50 AM
Subject: Proposed development at Eden House Road
There is just one other matter which I would like you to take into account, when deciding whether or not to recommend this matter be called in.
This concerns the alternative sites referred to by Ryedale. I don't accept that none of these are suitable, and there is one important point which your office should be aware of, and that is that Ryedale has never been prepared to exercise its powers of compulsory purchase.
As you will see on my website, I worked for Ryedale as their solicitor for 8 years between 1988-1996. During that time I sometimes suggested compulsory purchase of land, and even tried to set up a system for it at one time, but members always frowned on the use of such powers, and I am not aware of a single instance in Ryedale's history when compulsory purchase powers have ever been used or even threatened.
So, I suspect that, when Ryedale say that alternative sites are not "available", I believe they mean that the land owner is unwilling to sell his land at an acceptable price. If I am right, the situation is a complete farce. Alternative sites can always be compulsorily purchased - if there is the political will. If there isn't the political will, then the Council should not just look for a willing seller, as an easy way out - and that is what I think has happened in this case.
I speak as a solicitor with some experience of compulsory purchase - from 1984-88, I managed the legal section of St.Helens MBC which was responsible for making CPO's.
Councillor Paul Andrews