A compulsory purchase order (CPO) has been made on the derelict old Crossways shopping centre in Paignton today as part of ambitious plans to regenerate the site.
Over recent years, most of the 32 units have been abandoned by traders with just a couple still occupied. The car park above became littered with drug paraphernalia and was used by rough sleepers.
The new plans include 90 assisted living flats for local people, with shops or commercial space on the ground floor.
The CPO was made at the end of August and notices were served on Wednesday 16 th September with a two week notice period.
Torbay Council agreed in September 2019 to purchase the site, following requests from local residents to do something with the site.
The self-contained flats will be for people in need of support and will have staff available to provide personal care services.
Back in 2018 Crossways owner Roger Hancox of Gaelic Investments Ltd told DevonLive that the downturn in High Street shopping means that the 1960s precinct will never again reach its heydey.
And continual talk of redevelopment is putting off potential developers – leading to deadlock, he said.
Leader of Torbay Council Councillor Steve Darling said: “We are delighted to have been able to take this decisive action, through the compulsory purchase order, to deal with this site which desperately needs an upgrade.
“Residents in Paignton have been asking us to take control of this site and improve it for quite some time, and this supports our Town Centre Masterplan and the Paignton Neighbourhood Plan.”
Councillor Swithin Long, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing for Torbay Council, said: “We are really excited to be able to make progress on these plans which will provide a much needed boost to this area of Paignton by developing the land as an attractive retail, residential and employment space.”
Deputy Leader Councillor Darren Cowell said: “It is the perfect location for the extra care housing because the site is close to a range of facilities and has good public transport links.
“The new accommodation will also provide additional footfall in the town centre.”