Three years after a council said compulsory purchase powers would be used as a "last resort" the local authority has confirmed they are in the final stages of acquiring the land.

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead have had their hands tied over plans to transform an old 1970's shopping centre into a modern day mixed use development after parties in the town refused to give up their units.

Smokey's nightclub was vocal in their objections to leave their site on Nicholsons Lane, failing to come to an agreement with the council on a suitable alternative location. The nightclub has since closed, with its last public night having taken place on New Year's Eve.

Following a high court battle, the local authority got the ball rolling on the compulsory purchase order, which they have now confirmed is bringing the development closer to beginning.

A council spokesperson said: “The council is using Compulsory Purchase Powers to acquire the property interests needed to bring forward redevelopment of the Nicholsons site.

"As a result of an agreement before the High Court last summer, the Secretary of State’s original decision to not ‘confirm’ the CPO was overturned, and the Planning Inspector was then asked to seek further consultation with the remaining interested parties with a view to reconsidering the original position.

"Consultation happened during the autumn and the Secretary of State confirmed the CPO on November 2, 2023, in line with the Planning Inspector’s revised recommendation."

During this time, Nicholsons Broadway car park was confirmed for demolition, with work now progressing to knock down the "unsafe" structure which had been worn down by water ingress.

The site was always earmarked for demolition but has been accelerated due to health and safety concerns. 

As previously reported, the £500m redevelopment of the Nicholsons shopping centre will include 650 homes, 60 retail and hospitality units, 29,000 sqm of office space, and a new multi-storey car park.

The developer Denhead S.A.R.L, a joint venture between regeneration specialist Areli and investment group Tikehau Capital, needed to acquire the leases and freeholds of several businesses before construction commences.

"The council is now progressing the next stage of the CPO process – the final notification of confirmation of the CPO – which includes site notices, notices placed in the press and on the council website, and letters to interested parties," the council spokesperson added.

"This allows interested parties to confirm their interest in the land. Alongside this statutory process, the officers and councillors are liaising with the developers around ambitions for this important town centre site.”