Leeds city council has stepped into the dispute between two rival property investors that has stymied the£150 million Trinity Quarter scheme in the city centre.
Last week the council resolved to use compulsory purchase order powers to force Everard Goodman's Tops Estates to co-operate with USS's plans to replace the city's 1970s shopping area. The area is centred on Trinity and Burton arcades and bordered by Commercial Street, Briggate, Boar Lane and Albion Street.
USS fund manager Robert Walden said: 'The real obstacle to Trinity Quarter had always been the refusal by Tops Estates to agree to the temporary closure of the public walkways through the scheme for the duration of the building contract.
Mr Goodman has fought a hard and intelligent battle, which he was fully entitled to do, but we hope he will accept that it is time to move on.
He has it in his power to assist us and the city council in implementing Trinity Quarter as quickly as possible for the good of Leeds.'
Work could now begin on the project next year. The scheme will create more than 300,000 sq ft (27,870 sq m) of covered retail space on two floors connecting Commercial Street and Briggate.