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First-ever Port of London Authority CPO quashed

by on May 7, 2015

A High Court judge has quashed the first compulsory purchase order promoted by the Port of London Authority.

The CPO was for Orchard Wharf, an unused and vacant facility with some derelict buildings at Leamouth on the north side of the River Thames, near its confluence with the River Lea. The order had been confirmed by the Secretary of State for Transport.

Part of the wharf and an adjoining strip were owned by the Grafton Group who went to court to challenge the order.

The LPA had sought a CPO under the Port of London Act 1968. It planned to bring the site back into active use a wharf, handling river-borne aggregates and cement and for batching them into concrete.

Aggregate Industries UK and London Concrete proposed to lease the wharf and had submitted plans for a batching plant and ancillary development from east London planning authority Tower Hamlets Council. The latter had refused the proposals on design grounds.

An inquiry was subsequently held into the CPO and objections and into the planning appeal. The planning inspector recommended that planning permission be refused, but that the CPO should be confirmed.

The Grafton Group, which owns 1.38 hectares of the wharf and a small additional strip, hoped at some stage to develop the site for uses including residential, a boat yard and a waste-to-energy facility.

The group mounted a legal challenge to the order which has now been quashed after a High Court judge agreed the CPO was unfair.

Roger Milne

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