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Forced sale of Bristol's derelict Grosvenor Hotel moves a step closer

Bristol City Council has been trying to buy the building since 2016. Credit: Google Earth

Plans for a public plaza at Temple Gate have received a huge boost after the forced sale of one of Bristol’s biggest eyesores moved a step closer.

The building is an art deco building that has been neglected for decades. Bristol City Council has been trying to buy it since 2016.

The council has been told investors in a project to redevelop the building are no longer a barrier.

It means the authority can press ahead with a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) for the site near the railway station.

The site will be redeveloped as part of the Temple Quarter business district.

The Grosvenor Hotel has been unused for decades. Credit: Google Earth

Grosvenor Property Developers Ltd had proposed replacing the hotel with student flats.

But the company did not submit an official planning application and building work never started.

In November 2018, cabinet members approved a CPO for the property, although the legal opinion at the time was that the investors into the redevelopment project needed to be included in the compulsory purchase order.

But, the report presented on Tuesday 28 April advised that the investments are "no longer to be considered interests in land" under legislation, so the CPO can go ahead without their inclusion.

It added the council would write to the investors where possible to explain its position.

I remember being phoned by people being asked to invest in something that was less than likely to happen, to put it lightly, so I’m really pleased to see this moving forward.

This is very much a building that has become a blight, and to redevelop the site is really important for the regeneration of that part of central Bristol.

– Cllr Paul Smith, cabinet member for housing

Cllr Nicola Beech, the cabinet member for spatial planning and city design, said the day that the Grosvenor Hotel was demolished would be "momentous". She said the area’s regeneration would be critical for the city’s economic recovery from coronavirus.

Mayor Marvin Rees said: “We are longing for the day when it is finally no longer there and we can look clearly across that part of Bristol.”