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Council launches legal action over stalled £200m development

Liverpool City Council has launched legal action against a developer over a stalled £200m mixed-use site in the city. 

The New Chinatown development, off Great George Street, has been earmarked for regeneration including a 140-bed hotel, 790 new homes and 11,246 sq m of commercial and retail space.  

Developer Chinatown Development Company (CDC), previously known as Tribeca, acquired the lease from the council in June 2015 to deliver the scheme over three phases.  

The contractor on the job, PHD1, went into administration in April last year and the work stalled last autumn. 

The council claims that CDC failed to pay a staged payment of £475,000 in August 2016 and failed to pay the same amount the following December. 

Talks with the developer broke down earlier this month, the council said, adding that it had instructed solicitors to start legal proceedings to forfeit two leases on the site.

At the same time, the council said a statutory demand has been issued for the outstanding sum of £950,000 owed to the council by CDC. 

If the developer fails to pay the outstanding fees by 10 August, the council said it will apply to wind up the company.

Liverpool deputy mayor Ann O’Byrne said: “Liverpool City Council has explored every avenue and worked with the developer in the proposed transfer of the Chinatown site to a new buyer, but insufficient progress has been made.

“There are a number of challenges which could affect the transfer to any new buyer and in light of new legal advice and financial information, the approach to market the site has become unviable.

“We have sought reassurances from Chinatown Development Company Ltd but regrettably an agreement could not be reached and the council has been left with no choice but to take this new course of action.”

Chinatown Development Company has been contacted for comment.

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