Graeme Keen, led by David Elvin QC represented Britannia Hotels in opposing Manchester City Council’s attempt to compulsorily purchase the London Road Fire Station in Manchester’s Piccadilly district. The CPO was made by MCC less than 2 months before it granted permission and listed building consent to Britannia for the conversion of the building into a 4* hotel and despite MCC and English Heritage being satisfied that this was an appropriate reuse of the building and that Britannia had the funds and the experience to carry out the development. MCC had sought an implementation agreement and step-in rights/option to acquire as a minimum in order not to proceed with a CPO. The inquiry opened in April this year and sat for 11 days on several dates between then and July, hearing detailed evidence on planning, heritage, structural, construction programming and corporate issues.
On 29 November 2011, the Secretary of State decided not to confirm the CPO.