Your location is set to Dartford
Published: 15:00, 18 June 2014 |
Updated: 08:55, 19 June 2014
Demolition work is due to start next month in the long-running saga that promises to build a Tesco shop and more than 100 homes after an 11-year wait.
Ahead of preparation for work to begin, parts of Lowfield Street still remain in private hands.
As Tesco continues negotiations to buy the land, Dartford council has decided to step things up, contemplating compulsory purchase orders on those that remain.
In addition, nearby properties affected by “right to light” could be handed compensation and be made to sign an agreement that stops them taking the council to court over any loss of light.
Landowners have the right to receive light on their land and developers cannot substantially interfere with it – for example, by putting a building in the way that blocks the light without the consent of the owner.
Dartford council leader Jeremy Kite said: “Back in October, the council signed off on the principle of compulsory purchase orders to move the project forward. That can move things forward in a number of ways, because our planning powers can do a lot of things over, say, what a company itself can do.
“In the case of right to light in a town centre, the right to light is fairly unimportant. However, a court case two years ago changed that so someone who has a right to light can basically stop a whole development happening.
“Clearly we don’t want that happening, so with these extra planning powers we can choose what we want to do.”
Known as “cleansing”, Dartford council could end up owning the entire site outright which would give it considerably more powers than those of Tesco owning it.
In essence, any legal issues arising from the development and right to light can be overridden, in accordance with the planning permission.
Cllr Kite added: “Basically this stops people stopping things. We convert their right to light into compensation and this then gives certainties to developers that work can proceed unimpeded.”
There are 18 properties that will be affected by the right to light issue, all of which are understood to be commercial.
Dartford library is also understood to be affected, meaning compensation would be given to Kent County Council.
The report concludes: "The CPO Costs Indemnity will guarantee the council will be reimbursed all expenditure incurred... including payment of all other statutory compensation and fees."
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
This is a brand new online resource covering every aspect of owning and improving a home in Kent and Medway.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Neil Miller, Hever Castle head gardener is new gardening blogger.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.