Council had applied for a Compulsory Purchase Order for derelict landmark

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has rejected a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) application by Manchester council for the former London Road Fire Station.

The grade-II listed property is owned by Britannia Hotels, but has lain derelict for 25 years. It was the subject of a public inquiry last spring as the council battled to secure a CPO.

The fire station is one of the Victorian Society’s top 10 endangered buildings, but the council has argued that - while unused - it is a blight on Manchester’s Piccadilly area.

A council spokesman said: “We are disappointed and surprised at this judgement. This landmark building has been lying largely empty and disused for a quarter of a century while under Britannia’s ownership.

“What should be an asset for Manchester has become an eyesore.

“We note that, as a result of the public inquiry, Britannia have made a public pledge to return London Road Fire Station to use as a high quality hotel as soon as possible.

“The people of Manchester will hold them to that promise and no-one will be more pleased than us if they honour their words.”