City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet is set to approve in principle the option to use compulsory purchase order (CPO) powers to address the poor condition of the former Victorian Eye Infirmary site and facilitate its redevelopment.

The Council recognises the importance of this iconic site on an important gateway into the city centre on Compton Road in Chapel Ash.

Proceedings are also underway to bring a prosecution against the current owners of the buildings and land, BZ Holdings, for non-compliance of a s215 notice requiring them to undertake certain repairs to the historic buildings.

The Council is keen for the site to be brought back into use to provide new housing opportunities, enable the restoration of locally listed heritage assets, act as a catalyst for further regeneration activity, enhance the Oaks Conservation Area, and resolve long standing issues of anti-social behaviour, dilapidation and blight on the surrounding area.

Agreement in principle to use CPO powers would provide a robust framework within which proactive and positive dialogue can continue with the current owners - and would offer certainty of regeneration within a reasonable timeframe.

City of Wolverhampton Council Director of Regeneration, Richard Lawrence, said: “With the buildings in a constant state of decline it is imperative to find a solution which addresses the current physical state of the site and enables the site to be brought forward for beneficial redevelopment.
“A number of schemes have been proposed by developers for the site that were acceptable in principle to planners - but the owners have placed an unrealistic valuation on the sale of the site.

“Despite not being the owner of the site, the Council is determined to see it brought back to life, so it brings jobs, opportunities and investment to Wolverhampton.”

A further report will be put before Cabinet to approve the final extent of the land to be acquired.