COUNCIL chiefs have moved to quash rumours that road improvements in Kirkby have been thrown into chaos because of a failure to buy up a building on one of the affected streets.
Rumours have been circulating around the town that Ashfield District Council has not secured a compulsory purchase order on the former Wilbourn’s shop on the corner of Ellis Street and Station Street when it needed to do so.
Concerned residents have contacted Chad saying that they had heard that the shop - which is now Ashfield Dry Cleaners - has to be demolished so that Ellis Street can be widened and used for two-way traffic, part of the many improvements to the town’s highway network that are being carried out as the new Morrisons supermarket is built.
But Ashfield District Council said that the changes to road layouts associated with the Morrisons development are progressing ‘in accordance with the agreed proposals’ and the separate Ellis Street scheme is ‘not reliant’ on the demolition of the former Wilbourn’s shop.
A spokesman said: “The council did discuss options for acquiring various properties and/or other assets at the time that the original visioning for the town centre, including a new square, was being developed.
“The previous owner of Wilbourn’s was approached as part of this exercise.
“However it has to be repeated that there is no formal scheme for regeneration in place and no actions have been taken to compulsorily acquire any properties in the centre of Kirkby.
“The council is keen for a scheme to go ahead that compliments a revitalised town centre and improves traffic flow.”
Nottinghamshire County Council, the authority responsible for highways, confirmed that proposals were to make Ellis Street two-way and relocate bus stops on Station Street, though that was not considered a ‘vital alteration’ by the Highways Authority.
A county council spokesman said: “The proposal to change Ellis Street to two-way traffic did include for the aquisistion of the Wilbourn shop, but the county council was not involved in the purchase negotiations.
“Ashfield District Council was involved in discussions with the owner for the purchase of the premises.”
He added that without a CPO on the shop the changes to Ellis Street could still be made, though the bus stops on Station Street could not be relocated close to Station Street but further away where the existing ADC owned car parks are.