A WORCESTER businessman has threatened to take legal action against Worcestershire County Council if it refuses to enter into an agreement over the long-awaited Norton Parkway train station.

The £22 million station in the village on the south east edge of Worcester has been mooted for decades but could finally get the green light at a meeting of the county council’s planning committee on Tuesday, August 25.

But managing director of Lowesmoor Wharf-based Norton Parkway Developments Stennard Harrison has accused the council of refusing to engage with him over the project.

The firm has a legal right to purchase the land lasting until August 2018 and has already entered into an agreement to deliver the project with Capita, which among other projects is currently working on the HS2 rail line.

Speaking exclusively to your Worcester News Mr Harrison said he will not back down and believes his firm would be able to deliver the project at a much lower cost to the taxpayer.

“Unless we reach an agreement with the county council by August 26 we will go to arbitration,” he said. “We will go all the way to judicial review if we have to.

“This is the county council’s last chance.”

In a letter to members of the council’s planning committee the council Mr Harrison said he had been attempting to engage with council officers over the project, which is expected to be completed by May 2017, for “a considerable period” but had found them “unwilling to engage”.

“We have found the council’s stance to be most frustrating particularly since our development partner has vast experience in matters of this nature and have been keen to communicate with the council’s representatives in order to try and move matters forward,” he said.

“Subject to receiving co operation from the council we confirm that we can deliver the proposed station within the preferred timetable and at a cost to the tax payer which is substantially less than the figures currently envisaged by the county council.

“In addition the county council will already have spent a large amount of the taxpayer’s money pursuing the planning application when in our opinion this work could easily have been carried out by the private sector at no expense to the local authority.”

A Worcestershire County Council spokesman said: “Council officers have met with representatives of this developer on numerous occasions over the past two years.

“Consideration will be given to any deliverable scheme which offers better value to the public up to the point where it commits to its own current scheme.”

The new station will link to the Cotswolds and Birmingham to Bristol lines and will include a booking office, toilets, shop and 500 parking spaces as well as a taxi rank, bus stops and a drop-off area. It already has £7.5 million of funding from the government, with the council expected to take out a £14 million loan to fund the rest.

Worcester Shrub Hill is expected to close when the new station opens.

Tuesday’s meeting at County Hall begins at 10am and is open to the public. Your Worcester News will be there and will report the decision as soon as it is made.

To view the full planning documents visit worcestershire.gov.uk.