Planning inquiry hears that Edge Lane scheme could lose millions of pounds unless developers can force residents to sell

Liverpool’s Edge Lane regeneration project could lose millions of pounds worth of funding unless developers can force residents to sell their houses, a planning inquiry heard yesterday.

Eliot Lewis-Ward, English Partnerships’ area director for Merseyside and Cheshire, said the organisation would have to “re-appraise” its involvement in the scheme if a compulsory purchase order on outstanding properties is not confirmed.

It is the second public inquiry in three years into the £350m projects, which includes the demolition of 500 houses.

The city council has already bought most of the homes needed to complete the development but a small group of residents has ignored the compulsory purchase order (CPO) and stayed put.

The controversial project, led by Liverpool Land Development Company, aims to extend the M62 motorway into the centre of the city. It also includes around 280 new homes, retail space and a health centre.

Hopes that the development would be completed before Liverpool became European Capital of Culture have been dashed by continuing local opposition.

In 2006, homeowner Elizabeth Pascoe won a High Court injunction to stop work from continuing but this was made defunct last year when English Partnerships made a new CPO.

The inquiry, which is ongoing, will decide whether or not to uphold this order.