Plans are being drawn up to compulsory purchase Liverpool's Adelphi hotel, one of the largest properties within the 52-strong Britannia Hotels portfolio.
Liverpool City Council has proposed a plan to rejuvenate a gateway area in the city centre, which will link the £2b Knowledge Quarter regeneration scheme with the current £40m improvements around Lime Street.
The 402-bedroom Adelphi hotel sits in the centre of the area that is being considered for redevelopment. The council's cabinet will discuss on Friday (3 March) approving the development of a masterplan and seek "in principle" support for the use of Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) if private negotiations to purchase properties within the proposed scheme fail.
Colin Sinclair, chief executive of Knowledge Quarter Liverpool, said: "These proposals are a vital next step in the regeneration of our thriving city centre, linking Lime Street Station to the city's main concentration of science, health, education and the cultural assets, including our two cathedrals, on and around Hope Street."
Located within a Grade II-listed property built between 1911 and 1914, the Adelphi hotel was once one of the flagship properties within British Transport Hotels (BTH). The decision in 1982 for British Rail to sell its hotel division (BTH) resulted in the Adelphi being acquired by Britannia Hotels, a company that had been founded six years earlier by Alex Langsam.
The hotel has since lost the glamour it once enjoyed, earning notoriety during the screening of an eight-part BBC TV documentary Hotel in 1997. It has since received a zero rating in several food hygiene inspections. In the summer Britannia Hotels will stand trial on 20 charges in breach of the Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations Act 2013 at the Adelphi.
In December the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers accused Britannia Hotels of treating its staff "like Victoria-era servants" after cutting 20% off housekeeping room-cleaning times and refusing to negotiate over an end to zero-hour contracts.
It will not be the first time that Britannia Hotels has faced a CPO. During its 29 year ownership of the London Road Fire Station in Manchester, Manchester City Council twice sought to compulsory purchase the property.
Sir Richard Lee, leader of the council, said that Britannia had displayed "reckless abandon" by leaving an "incredibly important, landmark property" undeveloped for almost three decades. The London Road property was sold in 2015 to Allied London and is now being redeveloped into the Zetter hotel, apartments and restaurants.
At the time of going to press, Britannia had declined to comment.
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